There is a common misconception that many people hold that grief is just about death, in actual fact bereavement and death are just one type of loss that can cause grief.
Grief is the emotion or state that we experience when we wish things had been different, more than what they were or that wishing that they just hadn’t happened in the first place. It encompasses deep sadness, anguish, heartache, regret, anger, emotional overwhelm, shock, fear, loneliness, anxiety, depression and so much more. It’s a huge complicated mass of emotional energy that can differ for everyone.
So what other losses apart from bereavement can cause grief? Holmes Rahe conducted research and created an inventory which lists over 40 different types of losses that can bring on grief. Among them are listed:
- Financial loss
- Loss of health or major personal injury
- Son or daughter leaving home
- Changing to a new school
- Major changes in family dynamics
- Changes in business
- Major change in financial state
- Sexual difficulties
- Death of a pet
- Changes in friendships
Now grief in itself is not a problem, it’s a very normal and natural reaction to the disruption of what is familiar, however the problems begin when we become stuck in this process. When we are either not able to identify that we are in grief or even that we feel we should be able to ‘just get on with it’. All of the emotions that rise need dealing with acknowledging if we are to move through this state.
Now we are all different and we all react so differently to any loss event, but I invite you to take an inventory of the different types of loss and grief that you have experienced and how you have dealt with it, if you have dealt with it at all? Or does recalling a certain event or memory flood you with the emotions that you felt when it happened? This is a big indicator that you need to revisit is and take the necessary steps to move through it.
Are you valiantly soldering through despite what happened and finding that it gets harder and harder and that time doesn’t heal? Or are you truly complete with all the pain of your losses?
Dipti Solanki xx
Grief Coach & Homeopath