Grieving Over More Than Just A Loss
We define grief as a feeling of loss. It’s not exclusive to the loss of a loved one. If you experience symptoms of grief, even though no one has died, that grief is still valid. Symptoms of grief include:
Inability to disconnect yourself from certain thoughts (or rumination)
Feelings of longing
Lack of trust or joy
Depression and self-blame
Those around you may not understand the extent of your pain at first. Many people associate grief with death. Some professionals name up to sixteen different kinds of grief. Grief after the loss of a loved one is even broken down into subcategories like delayed grief, anticipatory grief, and prolonged grief. Grief and loss is a complex emotion, and it can happen throughout life as more than a result of a death.
Grieving Over More than Just a Loss
Losing a loved one is a unique kind of loss, but we experience losses with other aspects of our lives, too. If you’ve ever lost a job you loved or lost a significant role within your community, you know how this type of grief feels. Even though the visceral sensations of the loss of a loved one aren’t the same, these symptoms still occur and are still difficult to cope with, regardless. Other causes of grief are:
Changes in a relationship
Relationship changes cause varying degrees of grief for the people experiencing them. Grief after a divorce is perfectly normal. Far less traumatic changes can also cause grief, like a friend moving away or a son or daughter growing more independent. We can even see this grief in our children when they decide not to be friends with someone because of a disagreement.
Loss of health
Extreme cases of loss of health might be an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Again, grieving loss of health happens with everyday health changes as well. When an athlete gets injured before a game, they may experience feelings of loss. If a person discovers that aging interferes in some capacity with their daily routine, like more difficulty climbing stairs, grief is a possibility.
Loss of financial security is a significant change, and it can be scary. It can also be painful. Reassessing finances after losing an income or after losing a job can bring about feelings of loss. Smaller changes needed to save money, like canceling a Netflix subscription or selling a gaming console to make ends meet, are still losses. They force you to confront the loss of security, and that hurts.
As strange as it may sound, pregnancy can cause a sense of grief. Many people are excited about the news of a new baby, but it means a tremendous lifestyle change, and for many expecting mothers, that’s scary. Pregnant mothers often experience a loss of their sense of self, too. It’s possible to feel excitement alongside grief, and that can become an even more complex set of emotions with which they, and perhaps their partners, have to cope.
Loss of trust
This is another unique brand of grief. Losing trust, feelings of betrayal, and the anger, sadness, and hurt that come with them are all a version of grief. Even if the person with whom they’ve lost trust stays in their lives, this grief is very real. Sometimes, it can heighten the grief and lessen their sense of security.
Grief is a complex emotion, and it comes in many forms. Negotiating your emotions as you process your loss can be exhausting, and you shouldn’t have to go through it alone. Reach out to a trusted family member or friend to talk through your grief.
It’s important to face it head-on instead of hiding it away from yourself. The help of a professional therapist is a useful tool during recovery. We can help you recover your sense of security and teach you coping mechanisms to help you work through your grief. Contact us today to get started.