But no one has died….?
Everything changes. Meaning, as we adapt to these changes we experience new people, situations, problems, solutions, and choices. With this we also experience loss.
When we talk about loss and grief we usually refer to the people we love in our lives. And of course this is true. But we experience loss and grief in relation to everything and anything that is important to us (or has been). The difficulty is recognising we feel this way about money, jobs, holidays, friends, pets, school, homes, hobbies, and so much more. It’s about the loss of our hopes, plans, dreams and aspirations. It’s also not unusual to experience the loss of more than one thing at a time. When we recognise our response to the lose of all these things is grief, we can acknowledge the hurt and begin to understand how we express our grief.
Grief can be expressed in many ways – confusion, anger, blame, guilt, embarrassment, sadness, hopelessness, preoccupation, denial, shock, withdrawal, helplessness, and panic.
Allowing yourself to feel grief is nothing to be ashamed of. One of the best ways to support yourself is through talking. This may be with a family member or friend, or even a counsellor / therapist. You don’t have to have all the answers yourself, and leaning on others for support can be a positive (allbeit often difficult and painful) experience. The things we tell ourselves can be extremely hurtful… words we would never think or say about other people in our lives. Reframing our thoughts and the stories we tell ourselves can stop us from rehashing the problem and limit the amount we beat ourselves up or point the blame at others.
From both my personal and professional experience, people often find they have more courage than they believed possible. They find strength they never knew existed. They find friendship and support from people and experiences they least expected.
Support for loss and grief is always available.