When you lose somebody close to you, it can feel like a chapter in your life has come to a close. In a lot of ways that may be true, but just because you’ve reached the end of something doesn’t mean you can’t also find a new beginning. Indeed, one helpful way to navigate loss is to view it as the start of the next part of your life and to seize the opportunity to make some personal changes.
These changes don’t have to be drastic—and in fact, they shouldn’t be, at least not at first. It’s generally advised not to make significant life decisions when in the midst of grieving; so, avoid things like moving across the country or selling all of your possessions.
What you might do is take up a new hobby. Maybe you’ve always wanted to paint, to play the guitar, or to be a photographer. There’s no time like the present to sign up for some classes and to dive into a new passion. This doesn’t mean forgetting about your old life; it just means seizing the opportunities that lay before you for new endeavors.
You can also use your new chapter to reconnect with old friends; to do some traveling; to write your Great American Novel; or whatever else you’ve always toyed with.
Even in grief, you’ll still find opportunities to learn, grow, and surprise yourself. These things won’t remove your pain, and they aren’t meant to. What they can do is enrich your life and add some grace notes to the bereavement process.
Grief feels like an ending—but it can also be a new beginning. Consider some ways in which you can start writing your new chapter.