Ever since I went “live”, I have been talking to people about my new website ( https://toliveagain.ca ) and the work I do supporting clients with their grief and loss.
Interestingly enough, one of the comments that I have heard over and over again is “I didn’t know that”. You see most people naturally associate the words “grief and loss” with the death of a person, not realizing that there are many other forms of grief and loss that enter our lives through many different avenues. My explanation often makes them ponder what grief and loss really means and how it has impacted their life. So let me explain the types of grief and loss and where support from a qualified therapist can help move you through the process “to live again”.
Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone or something very important to you. The loss may cause sadness and may cause you to think of very little else besides the loss. Grieving is the process we go through in adjusting to our emotional “rollercoaster” and to our “new” life we now experience through this loss.
Most importantly, everyone grieves differently – no one grieves the same and there is no “normal” or expected period of time for “grieving”! Much of a person’s grieving will depend on: who they are, the nature of their loss, and their beliefs. Often when people are working through grief, such as disenfranchised grief, they feel guilty about the grief they may be experiencing. So often I hear “How can I compare the loss of my pet to someone who has lost a child – I feel guilty about even feeling this way?” Yes there is a difference (an impossible comparison), however, one can’t compare one’s grief to another’s – it should not be about “someone is worse off than I am” because we all experience the pain of grief. As I always say, everyone grieves differently and for different reasons. Feeling guilty can
create roadblocks to moving through the grief process – feeling stuck – and with a qualified counsellor, most can move past the grief and “can learn to surf the waves of grief.”
Kinds of Grief and Loss
Normal Grief – is a natural response to loss, whether it is someone or something that is important to you. Grief can be so very emotional with many feelings occurring over time(sadness, relief, loneliness, numbness, acceptance) and can be experienced for a number of different reasons. Loss of a loved one through a death or through a relationship ending, job loss, moving, chronic illness, pet loss, not reaching goals or expectations, “empty nest”, and other issues – can cause grief.
Anticipatory Grief – an expected loss – such as in illness, age or retirement/downsizing.
Sudden Grief – an unexpected loss – such as in an accident, suicide or a disaster (eg. flooding, fire), firing/layoff.
Delayed Grief – grief that occurs later after the loss, sometimes years later and possibly can be more intense than the initial grief.
Disenfranchised Grief – an experience of loss, that others don’t acknowledge the importance of the loss in a person’s life – such as a pet or ex-spouse or career.
Complicated Grief – grief that doesn’t progress as expected and the grief is so prolonged that this grief can dramatically interfere with a person’s ability to function.
Chronic Grief – grief that can lead to clinical depression, suicidal or self-harming thoughts. Face-to-Face Counselling/Therapy coupled with being under a doctor’s care is the best to help with chronic grief.