Often we talk about grief only in connection with death of another person but there are many other things that can throw us into grief such as:
- Career Change - Being terminated by an employer can be a horrible situation. Sometimes people are fired from a job without just cause and sometimes their own inability to do what is required results in their being fired. Even retirement can throw someone into a period of sadness and uncomfortable adjustment.
- Relationship – Separation, conflict, moving, empty nest and death are all factors that change relationships and can leave an emptiness that is hard to navigate.
- Finances – Those who make decisions that result in a temporary or even permanent monetary change can be devastating, especially when there is no longer ability to pay for the basic needs in life because of those decisions and losses.
- Dignity – Have you ever said something or had something said about you that made you feel small? Perhaps you have lied, cheated or lost respect because of your choices.
- Independence – Declining health or vulnerabilities may steal your possibility of living without help or even being able to live alone.
- Faith – Have you ever been disappointed by the things or organizations that you have previously trusted? Perhaps even God hasn’t lived up to your expectations and you have felt betrayed.
- Control – Once I had a client who said “When you have a control freak and you take away control, all that is left is a freak”. Each of us needs healthy control in our lives to feel safe and stable so losing it can cause us to act in a manner that is not our “normal”.
When you are struggling with a loss there are several things you can do:
- Accept the fact that you feel devastated. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are destroyed.
- Give yourself some time to adjust. Impulsivity is not a good choice.
- Learn to forgive - yourself and those who you feel offended you.
- Consult with experts who can help you to learn strategies to cope and make positive change.
- Develop a plan for the future that is reasonable and achievable. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
- Take action. It is much better to do something even if you don’t succeed at first than to do nothing.
- Be persistent - I recently had a client who applied for over one hundred jobs until he was hired. He loves the new job, and it seems that his efforts paid big rewards
- Trust that things will improve. My grandma used to say “This too shall pass”.
- Consider the fact that there is a reason why this loss has occurred and it might actually lead you into a better future.
- Focus on the positive rather than the negative. What did you learn form the experience? Do you have positive memories? How can this situation be used to help others?
Ancient scriptures state: Be thankful for your problems for difficulties lead to perseverance and perseverance develops character.
Your loss is building your character – even when it hurts.