Loss and grief

We live in a world of rapid change, a fast-paced society, very mobile society with different support systems, a society where life rarely is constant. Unless you are the one bringing change, it feels like someone is taking something away from you before you’re ready to let go.

You will be a dying person only once in your life, but you will be a grieving person many, many times over.

Types of losses:
  1. Loss of a significant person through death, divorce, relationship, mental disorders, Alzheimer's
  2. Loss of a part of self such as self-esteem, dreams, hopes, job, a part of your body
  3. Material object due to fire, theft, misplacing, etc. Includes things that are symbols to us.
  4. Loss through life development, e.g., aging, graduation, retirement, children moving, passages
  5. Other types of losses like pets, disenfranchised losses (miscarriage, AIDS, suicide, abortion, homosexuality)
  6. Never Was's, Never Will Be's related to childhood dreams, family roles, expectations (not able to have children)
We can empathize with others through loss, but we need to be cautious to not over identify, because the longest journey is between one person to another.

A myth of our society: It is easier to not grieve.

Grief needs expression    you need to go through it to get over grief. Grief is a holistic experience, an emotional and physical reaction. Grieving persons often sigh a lot    research shows that the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels of grieving persons are the same as those of clinically depressed persons.

Grief is a valid process, very individual, not measured in time, and the hardest work you will ever do. Mourning is external. We need safe conditions to do that, but society discourages mourning.