How To Deal With Traumatic Loss – My Crazy Idea That Worked

canceledI am perceived as someone who knows how to deal with grievous loss or trauma and the perception is correct. Once, I took a blow that knocked me for a loop. I felt like I was drowning.

I know I am not meant to be a shell of a person so I desperately grappled for a frame or some perspective that would allow me get beyond the trauma that had devastated me. I finally found that frame. I found a trick that helped me reconfigure myself and as stupid as it may sound to some, I want to share my idea on the chance it can help someone else.

Let’s say it’s a relationship you’ve lost. You loved that person. That person was your favorite person.

Well, how about when a show goes off the air? Have you ever had a show that you like be canceled or seen a mini-series you loved, come to an end?

I decided to consider this thing I lost to be something that had gone off the air. When they take your show off the air, that’s it, right? You realize this. It’s something you have no choice to accept, so you accept it and start looking for the new thing you are going to do now that your show is off the air. How will you fill the void?

Thinking like this will put you in a much better position then sitting in front of your TV waiting for your show to come back on when that’s not going to happen. It’s also better than writing 100 letters to the powers-the-be, telling them you want your show back when the decision has already been made, the actors fired, and the show for the new slot is in post-production.

My show is gone. The show I loved is fading into history as I type. Understanding this, I’m looking ahead at what I can do and who I can be in the future. This has helped me tremendously and I hope it helps you too.

Has your show been canceled too? What was your show?

42 thoughts on “How To Deal With Traumatic Loss – My Crazy Idea That Worked”

  1. Yes. This seems to happen to me every 10 years or so. Whenever I go through a major trauma…I resolve to learn something new. I will take those free online classes or go on a course of self-study. Pick authors whom I have always wanted to read and devour through their books. I am also a huge fan of Meetup groups.
    Aries Sun, Cancer Rising, and Cap Moon.

  2. I think the pain cannot be avoided and, if we’re to go on as anything other than some kind of ‘shell of a person’ (in some sort of way), sooner or later we have to accept that complete loss of control over events. In my case, not just the loss but more significantly, the circumstances of the loss (or losses). My mind tries to make sense of and bargain to find a ‘better’ kind of ending than life often presents. But if we gradually ‘accept’ the bleakness, the despair, the awfulness, Saturn can reward us I think with the sense that the person eventually comes back into focus in our lives with a kind of ongoing presence. A relationship of sorts CAN continue in our hearts even though the person is dead and gone. But we have to let go first before this can happen. (Uranus in Leo in the 8th).

  3. Yes, I’ve had that happen with too many relationships that either ended or never got off the ground as I’d hoped. It used to devastate me for weeks at a time feeling the loss. Reframing the issue like Elsa describes really does work. Relating it to something else that you routinely accept helps a person move forward. I like freedom so I tell myself that another person has their own freewill and interfereing would be wrong. I also focus on the idea that happiness comes from within, not from another person. I remind myself that it’s my job to be happy, not to wait around for, or expect someone else to make me feel good about myself. It isn’t quite the same tactic as Elsa describes but it works to point me in a new direction and that is what is needed to break the logjam.

  4. Yes, my show’s been canceled. I was pining for it just last night. It’s the idea that a goal I’ve been pursuing – to experience something in particular, and with a particular person – would fulfill me. The reality is that it could destroy me. I’m trying to find a new show to fill the slot…

    Very helpful post. Very!

  5. Not only did my show get cancelled. I was the lead actress! Pluto conjuncts 4th house Jupiter. Nothing left. I’ll polish up my act and take this show on the road! Thanks, Elsa!

  6. You are very clever, Elsa. “Detach and let go”, is a constant theme in everyone’s lives and when living and personal growth actually occurs.

  7. Yes, I replaced The Facebook Show with The Netflix Show. But that’s a lighted hearted comparison. I also replaced The Ex-Boyfriend Show with The Therapy Show. It worked really well.

  8. I have not been devastated in a long time, but this perspective helps me with my Venus-Saturn problems that fears and takes very seriously the show ending. πŸ™‚

  9. This is a really good strategy, Elsa. Super close to how I handle things personally via “Script Doctoring” to change the vector of the new story/show theme and tone. I will try your method.

    To answer your topic question:
    Show not yet cancelled, but instead churning and careening through that “cliffhanger buildup” to the season finale. Whilst the network execs meet behind closed doors and gossip by the watercooler as to the ultimate fate of the series. πŸ˜›

    It is the day to day uncertainty and atmosphere that is taking the largest toll. Some resolution one way or another will go a long way to getting on with the next steps. At this point I am silently thinking that TAB will have to take the reins and determine that resolution on his own behalf–as the others have a stake in continuing the status-quo.

    This show’s (perhaps final) season centers around the dramas of a family business that succeeds beyond its wildest dreams, in large part due to the efforts and loyalty of a gruff, tough plucky manager with 3 generations experience in the industry. [“You are like a son to me”, declares the owner. “Our success is your success. I’m investing you into the company”]
    But will success be their ultimate downfall? Overextended, overcommitted and struggling with vicious sibling rivalries, interfamily jealousies and surrounded by opportunistic sycophants– tensions run high and passions run hot as hidden agendas and issues simmer and threaten to boil over and scald all involved.

  10. I love this Elsa. This makes sense for me. Thank you! And you know I live in the 12th house pretty much so when those channels change…I am like “Huh? Wha’ happened?” and while the world is swirling around me, I am having to figure out what to do next. Now I know. After processing the loss…just change the channel.

  11. Elsa this is wonderful advice that I can use right now. I am never good at such things and they tend to derail me for months, even years. I can apply this to so much and I plan to use it immediately.

    You are very wise Miss Elsa…thank you!

  12. I appreciate this perspective too…life changed big time since Hurricane Sandy. I sometimes miss that TV, my car, that old washer and dryer; but beyond seeing the glass half full, I smile at the freedom of knowing I have the power to change the channel.

  13. “My show is gone. The show I loved is fading into history as I type. Understanding this, I’m looking ahead at what I can do and who I can be in the future.”
    I LOVE this! Exactly what I was saying to myself today after looking at the relationship I had and ended near 5 months ago. Of course, you keep going back and forth in your thoughts, maybe, could I again? What I have felt the past few days is ~ No, I can’t go back to the way things were or anything of the kind. I remember today, I was balancing yet again, then thinking ‘look at how much you laughed today, with no thought about “you know who”, and then thinking I am so much looking at the future! Yes Elsa, this nailed this one and so timely, as you always seem to be.

  14. On a deeper note, my family has decided NOT to accept NO from a Social Services manager – saying someone in the family cannot privately foster my brother’s youngest child is not an option we will accept. We already lost my mother and brother. We have engaged with those several steps above the guy who is trying to veto things…the fostering Social Worker, the one working with us wants things to go ahead with us…we have written to MP, National Head of Social Services, called in every card we have with connections to give character refs…much more. With what we need to grieve, we are accepting of the stages of grief. One very stage is anger and we have solid justification for the line we are taking here.If we fail, it will be terrible. If we fail without doing everything we can think of, would be much worse.

    People’s interest, passion and momentum…can change,save many things.

    But yes, if the absolute end has come, it is necessary not to expend so much energy on preserving/longing for the impossible that you have nothing left with which to heal and engage with life to fill the void. Obviously easier in some contexts than others πŸ™‚

  15. “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.” – Macbeth

  16. i say “all those threads are cut” but i look at life through time as a tapestry.

    maybe this will make it not feel so raw. i dunno. can’t hurt to try.

  17. Like a wonderful book thats over, no sequel. End of.

    There’s always the re-runs, those blasted re-runs that pop up at unexpected moments, lull you into comfort and familiarity, just to extend and relive the inevitable…

  18. I’ve leaned on my Capricorn-ruled 12H when dealing with difficult challenges. I remove emotions and “work the problem.” This doesn’t come naturally for me, as I am a Pisces Moon, but it always works.

  19. Yes – I have been moving towards this the past year, and more specifically since the end of summer. I looked it up and see that it is Saturn Square from the original event. I waited years for things to reverse, but I wait no more! That show is over and will not be renewed – and if it was, it would be a shell of the original. Saturn is moving me forward!

  20. I was wth an older friend who was dying she would say things like curtain call, show is over. So much wisdom in that view.

  21. I’ve been stuck – sitting in front of the television – writing letters – feeling unheard – your advice is excellent. Unplugging the set – moving forward. Thank you!

  22. Oh yes…My show was the marriage show and then a failed nightmare of an affair show. I had to do a ritual on a New Moon to detach- it worked but the letting go was like bleeding out. I just kept trying to make new friends, go out and take road trips singing at the top of my lungs and getting into literally new shows on TV that could take me away.

  23. My life has 4 stages up to 59. Every 15 years is a major turnover so Saturn must be involved with my Sun opposite. Hard work/study led to career success led to self employment led to a much more creative and fly by your pants style of living. It was just destined I feel for my soul growth.

  24. My mother died early this year. She had her better moments, but she was neglectful towards me as well as abusive in many ways. There was a moment in my forties, when I visisted, and we both started singing. She always liked to sing, and so do I. I actually have a decent voice, and I asked her somethink like, “I have a good singing voice don’t I?” She said yes. Then I asked, how come you never encouraged me to develop it. Oh, and by the way I also play the piano. Then she said, “I was jealous.” This was a turning point in my relationship with her. I could not wrap my head around a mother doing this to her own daughter. It felt vicious and ugly to me! In this moment, though she was at least honest about this, which was good in some ways. Yet, this act of neglect felt so monstrous to me!! AFter her death this year, I feel like I have lost my -Self the ideas I have had about myself, are all being questioned, there is a dialog about this going on constantly. There have been flashbacks, and insights about how the abuse and neglect I suffered affected my self-concept, my choices, and my health both mental and physical. I am a clinical psychologist, and even though I love helping people, I am feeling like an impostor to myself, as I am also a naturally very musical person, a poet, and visual artist, and creative in many areas. I should have worked at being an artist!! My life feels like a big lie!! I feel like my life is falling apart!! This is horrible, yet I wonder what might be born out of all this! I don’t know, but the experience I am having right now and at the age of 54, feels catastrophic. It is so painful. So much so, that sometimes, I really do not want to exist in physical form anymore. However, here I am taking the form of solid matter. I am so lost, I do not know what to do, and have considered declaring bankruptcy, and starting all over again, yet I don’t know how. Is this what we are moving toward at a global/universal level? Things falling apart so that a new and deeper TRUTH can emerge!! This is possibly exciting and wonderful, yet so, so terrifying at the same time!

  25. Ah, loss. A subject I know well. As I was told by an astrologer who studied my chart, “all the major symbols of death are combined on the axis of life and death”. I was orphaned by 13, two husbands were victims of homicide and two children died. Best friend of 35 years, my 20 yr old nephew, etc. Every serious relationship I’ve had (6), the partners have all died except one. Someone commented once that it must be getting easier to deal with, but it’s actually getting harder. Go figure.

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