Category Archives: Loss

Thriver Therapy


Christina Rasmussen | February 7, 2017 | Inspiring, Living

You don’t know it at first, not until it stings you for a long time.

The loudness of laughter. The proximity of people.

The constant talking. The ear piercing noise.

Everything closing in.

You start thinking about ways to exit.

To find the perfect moment when you can leave the room, end the conversation.

Prevent closeness with people you don’t know.

You crave going somewhere else. Not anywhere better.

But somewhere without proximity.

Where your boundaries stay intact.

You don’t know what’s happening to you.

You can’t explain it to yourself.

It’s too simple for it to be a problem.

It’s just a room of people for goodness sakes.

What is wrong with you.

You can’t even do that?

You come back to the room.

You try to make it through the rest of the evening.

You let the invasion of your personal space continue.

Because nobody told you that after loss your personal space requirements are completely altered.

Your breathing accelerates when in a space that is not your home.

Your body stiffens.

Your nervous system works overtime.

You see, your whole system never made it back after the loss.

There is an interference.

The station you used to broadcast your life from is no longer available.

This interference is not really understood until much later when the pain of loss lessens and life is starting to come back.

Your body, your breathing, your personal space, your tolerance levels are not the way you left them.

You realize that some things, simple things like picking up the phone, hanging out with friends, running into your neighbors at the grocery store are not so simple anymore.

This is when you start to seek the Waiting Room, when the most human interactions cannot be tolerated by your nervous system.

You are then left with very few choices.

The very basic routine of life.

How do I know all of this?

I could tell you that I know it from all the people I have helped so far.

But the honest truth is I learned all of this first from my own life.

I am the woman who finds it hard to be in a room full of strangers.

My personal space is larger than you can imagine and when it’s invaded all I want to do is run home. I still don’t like picking up the phone.

And my nervous system has so much interference. Still.

I was the complete opposite before he died.

But here is the part of the letter that is even more important than all the words I wrote so far.

I refuse to live like this. I refuse.

So here is what I do.

It’s kind of like physical therapy but instead, I call it Thriver Therapy.

Every day I practice all the senses that were lost and try to bring some of them back.

I make myself pick up the phone.

I make myself hang with friends.

I make myself thrive.

I force life into my life.

One thing you will never hear from me is that I am now healed and happy.

What I am after loss is complex.

Loss is not solved mathematically.

It is not defined by words, described by colors or resolved with time.

It is a systemic interference.

One nobody prepares you for.

This week I am going to ask you to be aware of your personal space and respect it.

Allow who you now are to be without judgment.

Once you do that give yourself some Thriver Therapy.

Go do something that you used to find easy but not anymore.

Practice doing it a couple of times.

Then go back home. Rest. Breathe. Be in the Waiting Room. Try again tomorrow.

Remember the easy things are going to feel hard after loss.

Now you know. And you can do something about it.

And I am just like you. Learning to do life still, years later.

It’s OK.

With thriver therapy,


Love Your People

Time passes so quickly and the person we thought we would never lose is suddenly gone. And by suddenly I mean here one day gone the next. Shit if truth be told it is really here one second gone the next. Whether they died from an illness or in a sudden occurrence; when they leave we are in shock that a living, breathing person is no longer in their body, talking, laughing, crying and communicating with us.

Where did they go? I believe their Spirit has left their body. But where did they go? Are they a miraculous substance, entity or stars floating out beyond our grasp? Will I see them again? I am so confused (and that is confused with a whole bunch of Os) sometimes because I only know the physicality of another person.

But I do believe in Spirit. And yet I have asked where does the Spirit begin and the body separate? For me it’s all intertwined like macramé with primary and secondary knots, which is a lot to ponder; at least for me. Sometimes I get all twisted up by it. And my inability to find a satisfying answer makes me mad. Sometimes. The other times I am stilled and comforted by my Faith that I will see them again. I am grateful for my Faith.

If someone you love does something that gets on your nerves, tell them and then tell them you still love them. We can love and be irritated by our folks. Life is short. And while we get so worked up physically and spiritually by that thing, know this: that intolerable thing will be the one you miss the most. You will romanticize that thing the most after they are gone. You will crave that annoying trait. You will say I would give anything to hear them say: shut up, be quiet, go-away, you’re so stupid (insert whatever irritates you here) one more time.

If it really bothers you tell them. If they don’t stop figure out a way to change your reaction. Hey you might learn something about yourself – like why it bothers you so much. Either way let it go. Figure it out. Forgive them. Love. And cherish every moment you have with your people.

Remember: Here one second gone the next.

When it happens your life will never be the same again. You can’t defuse that bomb. Don’t wait for a can’t-turn-back-the-clock moment to love more. Do it now.