How do you carry on with normal life after a loss?

Sep 04, 2023

On this journey, we experience so much loss.  Whether it’s a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, an unsuccessful egg retrieval or frozen embryo transfer, the loss of that picture you had in your head of how your family was going to look, and when this was going to happen.

It’s that loss of innocence.

There is life before loss and after loss. Life before you started trying to conceive, and life through infertility and pregnancy loss.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make (me included), is trying to get back to that old life, or that old you. We struggle to get back to the person who thought that getting pregnant would be fun, easy, and exciting. That person who was easygoing, and didn’t have a care in the world beyond having fun. We try to put our life back together based on a memory of how things used to be.

And the brutal truth is, you will never be the same after loss, regardless of what type we are talking about. This journey changes us from the inside out. And we can’t go backward. We can’t turn back the hands of time and erase what we now know. And what we now know is that nothing is certain, hard work doesn’t always get you what you want, and that bad shit happens to good people too. We can only move forward.

But it’s this struggle to go backward that keeps us stuck, and it makes us feel like we’re failing at this. But you’re not. The problem is that the goal you have set is unrealistic.

I’m not saying this to make you feel even worse than you already do. I’m telling you this to free you and help you move forward in a way that is possible and achievable. So you can stop punishing yourself and wondering what is wrong with you, and why you can’t get your shit together.

So, now that we have that clarified, the question still remains – how do you carry on with normal life after a loss? Here are some tips -

  1. The first step is acceptance. Acceptance that this shitty thing happened and that you are changed as a result. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. My losses over the years have taught me so much and changed me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. I’m glad I’m not naive anymore. And because you have changed too, the way you move through your life will change. The people you surround yourself with may change. The way you interact with them may change. Your priorities may even change. Accepting and acknowledging that life will look different, and not in a bad way, is essential.

  2. Set more realistic goals. Instead of aiming to feel how you did before loss, and live the same life you did beforehand, we need to pivot a little. The goalposts have changed, so you need to also adjust the angle that you’re coming from – otherwise you’re not going to get that ball in the net. You’re just setting yourself up for failure. The goal needs to be aimed at being kinder to yourself and giving yourself some grace for all that you have been through. That may look like saying NO to things that you don’t want to do anymore i.e. going to a baby shower or socialising in big group situations. It could be asking for help more often. It could be slowing down and not trying to do ALL the things to prove that you can be strong. It could be having more honest conversations with people. Lower your expectations, and take a breath.

  3. I know our first reaction is to try to move away from the grief and pain as fast as you can because it feels uncomfortable. And we do that by getting busy. But the more you try to run away from it, the more it will persist. Distractions will only last for so long. Find a way to acknowledge and release the emotions. Your new life will need to have enough space to carry both grief and joy. And in order to make space for joy, we have to release the other emotions i.e. anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment etc. If you’re angry or frustrated, punch a punching bag. If you’re sad, have a good cry. If you’re disappointed, talk to a friend.

  4. Create more space in your life for YOU time. Grief can be exhausting, so we need to double down on doing things that replenish your emotional energy. Whether it’s creating a morning routine each day, going for a walk, reading a book, taking a nap, or going for a massage. It’s time to stop and take care of yourself for a change.

  5. Find something that makes you feel alive again. It could be a dance class, a pottery class, a book club, a painting class, or a night out on the town with your closest friends. Listening to music is also a great way for you to release all your worries and feel more like you. And laughing is THE best medicine. Find something that makes you feel grounded and book it in your diary.  If you’re not sure, try a few different things until you find what works for you.

But more than anything, it’s important to understand that you are in the process of creating a new kind of “normal” for yourself. Things will feel different because they are different. Set achievable goals and give yourself a whole lot of grace.

There will be days when you feel ok, and days when you don’t. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. It will get easier. The grief will stay, but the way in which you hold it will change.

Life does exist beyond loss. I promise.


Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward?  My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.  

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