Have you ever wondered how Lazarus got on with his life after the story ends? You know the story, right? Lazarus has died. It was ‘his time. Jesus had other ideas. After 3 days of mourning, he rolls back the stone and out he comes – ta dah! Jesus moves off and we never find out any more. But poor old Lazarus lives on we assume. He’s seen death. He’s come back. He has returned.
Every survivor knows how Lazarus felt. As survivors we are Lazarus. I call it ‘branded with an invisible debilitation.’ Try as I might to fit in (and I have tried far too much because God loves a trier) it’s impossible. Lazarus probably didn’t get invited to many parties after that. Neither do we.
‘We’re too knee jerk to sit comfortably over cake – and we can’t fit in with the fake. But we survive.’
I have done everything possible to fit in. I’ve sat in staff rooms, bought drinks, held down piss poor jobs, organised funerals, gone into pubs sober and drank tea, dressed differently to try and bond with women on the front row of dance classes. I know how Lazarus felt.
‘Since we stepped over the edge, we can no longer step in time. But we survive.’
What is the solution after a big loss? There is no solution. We must feel it. This stigma, this ‘other‘ we have become. After bereavement, other couples vanish. Family members avoid us. Friends are ‘too busy.’ It can feel as if loss is catching. Loss is not a disease. Their reaction says more about them than it does about us. Sooner or later we will all experience loss. Their time will come.
What’s the solution after loss? There is no solution – we must rest, recover, catch our breath and then rebuild. There are no quick fixes.
What if? Reframing what if questions.
After loss. we can no longer step in time. After loss, stop attending socialising for a while. It makes you feel worse. You are Lazarus for a while. Find your own beat. Step to your own time. Because loss changes your step. Loss changes your pace. Find the one. The 361.
Alice Smith 2021
Find out more about the 361 Recovery programme at 361lifesupport.co.uk