Friday, August 17, 2018

Grief in all its forms

Two of my close friends died during the month of July, one older than me and one younger. So I have entered the world of grief again. I know that if I don't tend to the grieving process now, the grief will simply stay buried inside me until some new grief comes into my life—and then I'll have to deal with the whole lot of it at once. And that can really pack a punch.

There are so many causes for grief and so many types. I've long said that each loss contains multiple losses embedded within it. For example, if you have lost your job, you also have loss of income, loss of identity, loss of colleagues and perhaps even friendships, loss of meaning, loss of focus—and so much more.

Recently, in a retreat center's catalog of offerings, I saw a seminar listed that would take a look at how to find one's way through loss. It had a name for all these smaller losses within the big loss: It called them "secondary losses" or even "loss of the assumptive world." I'd never heard those terms before but they really fit.

Years ago I wrote a resource on grief for the women's organization of my church body, and I talked about these other losses. I didn't have a name for them then. If you are interested in this resource, click on this link.

And if you face any type of loss right now, I encourage you to face it and grieve. Remember, death isn't the only loss in life. We lose friends, jobs, homes, physical and mental abilities and so much more. All of it requires a grief process.