Are the changes in your life overwhelming you? Do you find that the older you get, the more changes you have to make?

Maybe your best friend moved away or you have lost a job that you thought you would be doing forever. Maybe you moved to a new area or have recently retired.

How about if you experienced more than one of these changes in the last year? Sometimes these changes that I will call “Whammies” come in groups of two or three or they come one, right after another.

At any rate, these whammies really do just that. They wham you in the face. You may even think you are accepting change with grace and moving on, but it suddenly hits you. It creeps up like a thief in the night and you don’t know what is wrong with you.

It is nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens to most of us at some time or another. Did you know that a change is also a “grief experience?” It is a general known fact that death is a huge loss and brings on grief but what about all the other losses? Have you ever thought of them as grief experiences?

Among the many definitions that Webster New World Thesaurus describes as grief are: “painful regret, distress over loss, mourning and depression.” (I counted 30 synonyms.)

Life is full of the small grief experiences. For example, when my children come to visit for the week-end, it so something I look forward to and I prepare for it. It is fun and fulfilling to see them but after they get in their cars and go to their respective homes, there is an aftermath of an “emptiness.” It doesn’t last long….soon, I am busily thinking of other things. However, for those few minutes it is for me a loss or a “little grief experience.”

How many times have you had your favorite store or market go out of business or a building that you associated with childhood being torn down? You may say to yourself, “everything is changing; it isn’t like it used to be.”

Moving to a different location may be a big grief experience for some and others may not feel the loss as much. Other changes that come to mind are illness, divorce and even aging. How about losing youth or gaining weight?

The big whammies are the most devastating. Maybe you are reluctant to talk to others about it for fear they may think you are being silly or dramatic. You need not be. I am certainly not a psychiatrist but my personal experiences and talking with others at least leads me to believe that this is a universal experience.

One of the most heart breaking losses that I believe we are afraid to share with others is the loss of a pet. That is so real and sad. Pets mean so much to many people and it is like losing a part of your family. This is a real grief experience and unfortunately, some do not see it as such.

Another hard one is when your children leave home or better known as the “empty nest syndrome.” Anyone who has ever gone through that will testify that indeed it is a loss and quite an adjustment.
People throughout time have pondered this very subject of change:

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar
And seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no
longer meaningful. There is no more security
in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement
there is life, and in change there is power….

I have accepted fear as a part of life
specifically the fear of change. I have
gone ahead despite the pounding in the
heart that says….Turn back….
…..Erica Jong

Now that we have admitted that change can cause feelings of grief and sadness, what can we do about it?
These are my suggestions:

1. If you are feeling sad or depressed, examine your life and see if you have experienced a major change or more than one change.

2. If the answer to the above question is yes, half the battle is done. By recognizing what your problem is, you will then know that you are not “losing it.”

3. Know that you are going to feel different for a while and don’t fight it.

4. Remember that one of the few certainties in life is that there will be change.

5. Open up your self to new ideas, projects or friends.

6. Change your routine. Do something you don’t ordinarily do. Such as going to the movies in the afternoon or by yourself.

7. Walk – the earlier in the morning the better. Walking releases the “good endorphins” that help with depression.

8. Don’t have an empty calendar. Plan what you are going to do the day before and stick to that plan. It can be cleaning out drawers or going to see a friend or relative but stick to your plan, even if you don’t want to do anything.

9. Reach out to help others. You will always find someone who needs comforting or help. Lose yourself in the process.

10.Think of change as you “evolving” into the person that you
were meant to be. Knowing that you are part of an ever-
changing universe that includes many wonderful surprises
and challenges.

11.Learn to be your own best friend. Sometimes, for whatever
reason, changes occur that are painful and you may feel
isolated. Use this time to test out your inner strength and do
not rely on other people’s answers.

12. Celebrate yourself. Don’t save that nice outfit for some
occasion that may happen tomorrow. Wear it today! Use
your best china and silver if the mood strikes you. Buy
yourself a bouquet of flowers or allow yourself to have a day
that belongs to you. Today, while lounging around and
watching the Bucs play, I decided to wear my diamond
necklace. My husband gave it to me and I love wearing it!

13. Remember if you are still clinging to the past, you are not
allowing new and exciting happenings to come your way. As the saying goes; one door closes, another on opens!

For me, personally, in addition to the 12 steps above, I believe that God has a plan for my life. Sometimes I really am confused and do not understand some of the changes. However, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is there for me and he is my greatest comforter. I cannot always control what happens in my life but submitting myself to God and the Universe is a never-ending process of newness and refreshment.

I was just thinking about change and couldn’t resist writing a poem:

Browsing Through Time

Embrace the changes in your life
And leave behind yesterday’s strife.
Look to today for only today,
Only then can you find your way.

Tomorrow is only an unseen image at best
That we cannot predict or try to guess.
Yesterday’s reality is now but an imprint on our mind.
It is only in embracing today that serenity we will find.

So remember as you browse through time,
This day, this hour brings delight sublime.
Enjoy this day for it will never return again to you,
As you browse through time, you’ll see this is true.

…………Francine Larson

Here is something to think about:

The appearance of things change according
To the emotions, and thus we see magic and
beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are
Really in ourselves….
…Kahill Gibran

Please know that this article is only my opinion . If you have a serious problem with depression, please see your doctor.

Author's Bio: 

Has an AA Degree from St Petersburg College
Taught Nursery School, Children’s Choir,
Paraprofessional for First Grade

Co-Author of Character Keys to a Bright Future.
Writes poetry, short stories and articles.

Unlimited Minutes published by Taborri.Com
Zach and the Wishing Well by Just for See Zach’s story
Personal: Married, four daughters

Her web site is:

(Good Character Press)