I thought it interesting that initially, this blog’s title ended with ‘Grieving’ vs. ‘a Loss.’
I changed it because many folks don’t realize they are grieving a loss, as that sentiment is often reserved for feelings toward a person who has passed.
In the last couple of years, many people have suffered losses. When you factor in not only the toll of the pandemic, there are losses of jobs and, in some cases, careers. I know some folks who have lost long-standing friends because of differing attitudes towards specific politicians, government policies, the climate, and maybe even the meaning of life itself.
Whatever the loss, there is a very human need to grieve. The depth of the grief varies from situation to situation. Also, different cultures have evolved various rituals and expectations, especially with the death of family and close friends.
First, let me suggest this. We often turn to comfort food in times of stress. The choice of which food fills that need is not right or wrong. The common factor is that it is familiar in a good way. So permit yourself to find your unique way to get through any loss. If you need to stay in bed one day, give it a try. Be easy on yourself.
Second, move. Yup, just move. This doesn’t mean jogging 5 kilometres unless you think that is right for you. It could mean standing up during the commercials on TV. You decide how much energy you have to move. I strongly encourage you to find at least some extra energy to move.
Third, identify behaviour patterns that connect you in a good way with the loss. If you lost a job, take some time each day to recall those happy memories. It sounds counterintuitive, but it is a transitional way to let go of the intensity of the loss. Gradually you can reduce the time looking in the rearview mirror while the world moves forward. You might find looking through the front windshield just a bit easier.
Fourth, there is power in caring for and being cared for by peers. Sometimes that gets modified to seeking out a suitable therapist or counsellor. Other times it means attending a group around the nature of your loss, grieving the loss of a loved one or having a career snatched away, and simplistically being told to think of transferable skills.
Please give this a bit of a think. What is a loss you’ve experienced in the last two years? How would you rate your loss on a scale of one to ten, with ten being a profound loss? How are you doing now? What did you do to help yourself?
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think below.
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And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.