When we think about grief and loss we generally only think about the loss of a loved one. Yes, loss of a loved one is difficult and many people experience it differently. What about the losses that we don't really pay attention to? For example, what about the loss of time, youth, work, freedom, homes, dreams, religion, relationships and health. How do we deal with those losses?
First of all, when ever there is a significant change in our lives whether it's a happy change such as marriage or birth or maybe a not so happy change such as changing jobs or moving out of a home; there is a level of loss or grief that occurs. Much of the daily freedoms or expenses we have become use to now have to be adjusted. We are forced to deal with these changes.
The advice we are given from others, such as friends and family, is usually, "Get over it,” "You will adjust,” "It is all apart of life,” or "You should be happy.” I’m These statements leave us feeling guilty and frustrated with the discomfort we feel from these significant changes in our life. We are left not wanting to share our uncomfortable feelings or the thoughts about what we lost as a result of the change. With these feelings left held inside we become depressed or anxious.
First step - Recognize your feelings are real and it's okay to feel. Even some "small" changes create emotions such as fear, depression and doubt. Give your self permission to feel no matter what the feeling is. Express these feelings with those around you. Denying the feelings don‘t make them go away.
Second step, slow down for a minute keeping busy doesn't make the feelings go away either. Yes there is probably a lot that needs to be done in regards to these recent changes but you must make time to breathe and take it all in. You are allowed to grieve the losses.
Third, if you find yourself angry or depressed about losses resulting from the changes try hard not to let it overwhelm you. Sit down and focus on what you have gained from the changes and create a plan to slowly adjust. You can talk about what is you miss and remember what you learned along the way.
Remember losses come in many shapes and forms. Everyone deals with losses differently no matter what they maybe. However, it is okay to grieve and it is okay to deal with losses from changes in your life.