If you see someone who has just lost a loved one you may say “I am sorry for your loss”.
But what do you mean?
Loss is a word that has so many meanings.
Loss applies to more than the death of a loved one.
You can lose a job, and grieve over it.
You can lose a relationship, and grieve over it.
You can lose your grandmother’s engagement ring, and grieve over it.
You can lose your pet, and grieve over it.
You can move to another country and lose your identity, community, family, friends and grieve over it.
You can lose your house, and grieve over it.
The list is endless.
All these losses are valid reasons to be miserable.
So what is loss?
Loss is something you feel that is caused by an event in your life that you consider to be negative. The event also causes long term changes in your life. The changes continue over a period of time. You also have a personal response to that loss. Others may respond in a similar way, but your way of responding to it is unique to you.
This means no one will ever fully understand your loss. That experience is your personal experience.
The biggest aspect of loss is change.
You will experience change in your social situation, your relationships and the way you see the world and interpret events.
As the result of loss, you will be changed forever.
Change is always a part of life. We change daily in response to our environment.
But some things in life result in bigger changes. Changes that may mean we no longer fit in in the same way.
Changes that may mean we move, or change friends, or change job.
Changes that may mean we no longer want the things we once wanted.
One of the biggest mistakes to make when processing a loss, is to think we can go back to the way things were.
That is not possible.
Life is a one way street.
There is no doubling back.
There is only forward.
That is something you may not want to do.
You may decide at some point that you need to see a counsellor.
That can be really helpful.
A good counsellor will listen and allow you to express your feelings and explore what has happened.
With a good counsellor you will be able to make sense of your loss and start being okay that life continues in a forward direction.
What a counsellor will not do is make everything the way it was.
A good counsellor will not fix those unpleasant feelings.
What the counsellor will do is help you process those feelings. Help you learn how to live now. Help you come to terms with the new life you now have.
It is so easy to get stuck in the pit of loss and the longing for what was.
In those times you need help to get out of the pit.
This is where counselling is helpful.
When you are struggling to make sense of the changes.
When you are struggling with people telling you what you should be feeling and doing.
When you don’t want to keep going because it hurts too much.
These are times when counselling is helpful.
If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with links to my blogs, interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz