Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One myth about loss

“I don’t need to grieve this. I didn’t lose my job. I chose to take early retirement,” my client said.

I gently reminded her that, even when we choose something, we can experience loss. We lose other things. Every “hello” has at least one “goodbye” in its back pocket, I’ve heard it said. So true.

I invite you to not overlook the smaller losses of life—or those that are embedded within a larger loss but which might be less obvious. When you lose your job, for example, you lose income, status, your routine, work colleagues, future hopes for that job, sometimes self-confidence, perhaps some meaning in your life, and a plethora of other things, some unique to your own situation and some common to all who lose jobs.

Not just death
Take time to grieve them all. At the very least, name each one and think about it. Then let go—and move on.

Remember, death isn’t the only loss worth grieving. All losses are important to us and need our attention. Paying attention to loss and grief keeps us cleared out so we are free to live a positive, joyful life.

I invite you to remember that our hearts make no distinction between voluntary loss or loss that’s forced upon us. Loss is loss, no matter how it comes to us.

I wrote a grief and loss resource for a women’s organization last year that might be helpful as you think about this subject. You can access and download “The Faces of Grief” at:

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