I was recently at a wedding where I ran into a client I worked with after her husband committed suicide. It was five years ago that this sad event happened.
During our conversation I was reminded about how long it takes to recover from a tragedy such as this. Although she is in good shape financially she still is trying to mentally recover.
Susan Bradley from the Sudden Money Institute is probably the most knowledgeable person I know on this topic. She believes that for a spouse to recover from the sudden death of a loved one takes about seven years. In this case, I believe it will likely take even longer. Suicide without a note has to be a very difficult thing to cope with.
The point is that it just takes a long time to recover when your world is turned upside down. A tragedy happens and we expect that in a short time things will be the same.
The first thing we need to learn is that our world is never the same. Change is constant and normal. Different types of change will affect us in different ways. Losing a loved one is a negative change and it’s not about getting back to normal as much as it’s about finding a new normal.
The new normal is where we get a sense of equilibrium. For me, being in equilibrium is when we can go through the day without being incredibly sad. Although those negative things are always with us, eventually we need to find a way to move on in our life.
Recovery is not about setting goals. Recovery is a process that happens. Setting goals for what we want in our life after a tragedy seems a bit out of place. Instead, we need to give ourselves a break. We need to let life settle and we need to find a place where we can feel centered.
I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I look for that center. Bad things happen to us during our life. When we’re young, getting past bad things seems easier. As we get older, it just gets a little harder.
When we get older we really do need to just let things settle and move at a pace that allows us to adjust to changes that occur. Even though changes may be catastrophic, we still live and giving ourselves a break just might help the new normal happen easier and more quickly.
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