The Hardest Losses Are Invisible


There were no whispers, no words, nor any kind of guidance about all the other things that would happen after he died.

Nobody mentioned the silence.

The loss of financial security.

The emptiness of the home.

The fear of the night.

The life ahead without my kids’ father.

The graduations from school, their first awards, their wanting to talk with him every day.

The way life turned out. The loss of all the dreams.

The loss of so much more than him.

All the invisible losses that happen alongside a bigger, visible, traditional loss are actually much harder to heal from.

We lose so much more beyond what others can see and that is the only thing that keeps us from coming back to life.

So how do we see our own invisible losses? As they are not only invisible to others but they are also invisible to ourselves.

We walk towards our new life after loss and we bring these invisible losses with us without doing much about them.

They weigh on us, they bring us down, they keep us confused and they are very hard to get through. Especially when we don’t even know they are there.

Plus, they are very long lasting.

Most invisible losses last a whole lifetime.

Very few people figure them out early.

Today, we will try to see if we can spot your invisible loss or losses.

Here are some introductory steps so we can begin this process:

 

Loss of worthiness

What is the one thing that you lost that surprised you the most after your loss? Was it friendships, financial security, loss of self, loss of worthiness or even loss of values and beliefs? Who we used to be is no longer here, the person you were before your loss is forever gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. This for me is one of the biggest invisible losses we endure. Then we lose our value. We somehow lose the ability to see our own worthiness. Therefore we become more insecure, we lack confidence and we don’t trust ourselves anymore. You see these invisible losses are sometimes even more catastrophic than the big loss we have endured. So…how do you now see yourself? Do you still see your value?

 

Tell someone about it

What is the best way to find your way back to the visibility of your own self and self knowing? Once we figure out what one of our main invisible losses is we need to talk about it to someone. We need to start sharing it. We need to make it visible. We need to understand its power and see what damage it has been doing in our lives. There are many ways to make an invisible loss visible. Like I mentioned, one of the very first things to do is to start sharing it with a trusted friend. And if you are not ready for that you can start by journaling. We do a lot of that in The Life Starters. Whatever you do it has to be seen and understood before we can do anything beyond that. Start uncovering it. Shed light to it. Bring it out of you. I know this is not an easy task but there is no way around this.

 

How does your life look without this invisible loss?

Now that you know what this invisible loss is and you have spent some time thinking about it, sharing it, writing it down, it is time to start seeing your life outside of it. Even though you did not know this was present before, your brain has known this for a while, and it has been living your life after loss through its filter. Stepping outside of that view of yourself is crucial. I have to be honest with you and tell you this is actually very hard to do. I still feel financially insecure even though I created my own work and found incredible ways to grow. I still wish my life was not made of tragedy and I still ask the ‘why me’ question. This is one of my most everlasting losses. Why did this life have to be so difficult; why me? But I am aware of it and do a grief cleanse every time I notice myself going down this path. As it is not healthy to perceive my life through the filter of tragedy but through the filter of inspiration, resilience and gratitude.

The same goes for you my dear friend.

 

A new point of view

When you start to see your life from a different point of view what do you see? What are you replacing your invisible loss with? What is the opposite of this loss? What are you creating in your life that is more present than your invisible loss? Slowly, all the hidden parts of you that were created post-loss will be revealed, and it will become easier to help yourself and let others help you. What is important here is to replace the invisible loss you can now see with a new point of view. This has to be a very conscious decision. For example, if you think you lost your self after loss, getting to know the new you through new hobbies and experiences is key here.

 

Over the years while working with so many people after their losses I discovered that it was the loss that we could not really see, or articulate or even imagine, that was so hard to move from. Once we discovered what it was we were more able to get through it and find our way to the new life without this shadow loss.

If you are reading this and you are still not certain as to what is your invisible loss I would consider looking at either your self identity or your worthiness. These are in the top five invisible losses and they are the losses most people experience.

This is just an introduction to what an invisible loss is and how you can take a few steps to see it for the first time. I would love it if you shared here on the blog or on our Facebook Page what your invisible loss is.

The more people share with each other the more we can all witness ourselves and see what is invisible within us. (Click to Tweet!)

We all have invisible losses because we live in a world who does not like to speak of them. Well, we are about to change all of that.

Here’s to your freedom.

With life,

Christina

www.thelifestarters.com

Comments

  1. Hi Christina
    I have never written to you before but I have read your book as well as your weakly second first emails. It will be four years next month since I lost my husband. I can relate myself with whatever you write and your messages give me a lot of comfort that there is hope after losing your loved one.
    My invisible loss is confidence, self identity and worthiness. Even after four years I feel that I have gained my confidence back.

    Thank you for sending messages and giving strength to live after the loss.

    Madhu

  2. For me, the greatest and most painful loss, is the passing of my mom. She was my best friend. No one, not even my husband, come close to being as close of a friend as my mom was to me. We were closer than close. I saw her, and spent time with her, each and every day. The tears and the loneliness continue to this day. It’s been 8 months since she was taken from me by lung cancer. A short 2 months, 60 days, from diagnosis to gone. And I grieve like it was yesterday. The pain of her loss is so intense.

  3. Hi Christina.

    I so needed today’s message. Thank you for writing about this important topic. You’re right, it’s easy to push my invisible losses out of my mind and not deal with it because no one talks about them or recognizes them.
    I have so many invisible losses. But three that you mentioned are the biggest for me.
    1. Loss of Self
    2. Loss of Financial Security
    3 Loss of Values and Beliefs.

    I didn’t even realize #3 was an invisible loss for me until you put it into words. When I read it, it just hit me and I said to myself, ” Oh My Gosh, that’s me!”
    Thank You again Christina for being so passionate about this work.

  4. My biggest invisible losses are: the emptiness of my house, the fear of the night and the loss of my identity, I don’t trust myself anymore, I always feel I can’t.
    After four years I still don’t know how to handle those sad feelings, the woman I used to be is forever gone.
    Thank you for putting into words these things nobody talks about.
    I’m so grateful for what you do! Thank you for being there!

  5. Wow. That was my initial thought after reading this. Wow.
    I am the queen at creating a fortress around my feelings so that I control the pain of enormous loss. I am the queen at “I’m fine” and “Look at all the things I can do on my own! I don’t need any help. I got this!” Well guess what? I don’t got this! Not even after losing my entire nuclear family (mother, father, brother, sister) and becoming a virtual orphan did my fortress crumble, because I still had the love of my life. When Dave died, the fortress wall started to develope cracks which became bigger cracks, but I hate to say this but there are pieces of it still there and the supporting walls are still there ready to be rebuilt. This brings me to my first invisible loss: loss of identity. I’m still a mother to 2 wonderful children, but I have to admit, that my fear surfaces and I begin to wonder will I lose this role too? Will my children be taken from me like everyone else? As I look at the list of possible invisible losses, I can really relate to all of them, but I need to deal with them one at a time.

  6. Reading the invisible loss email I got, is intriguing. I feel I have lost some of my social confidence, my idenity, I try to stay in the moment, but I lost my joy of life, and cofidence in general. My husband death has knocked me to the floor, face first.

  7. I have just found your site and felt I had to comment because your article so perfectly describes all of the things I feel. The loneliness, the silence, the emptiness of home, the loss of self and my sense of worth and purpose. It has been two and half years now since I lost my husband of 42 years and the feelings of uselessness seem to get worse not better. I don’t have anybody to talk to about it so maybe joining your blog will help me understand how other people cope. I would love to restore my sense of purpose and self worth.

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Christina Rasmussen

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