Grief over the loss of a loved one is a very personal intimate experience. It revolves around our relationship with the deceased, our life story, our season of life and what we believe about death.
No two people grieve alike. Even people in the same family look at loss from their own perspective. Who or what have they lost? What was the daily significance? Do they feel safe? Will their role change? Is a move likely?
Married couples have to acknowledge that they will grieve the loss of a child differently and honor each other in that grief. Sibling loss can be crushing since siblings are sometimes best friends too. Parent loss and grandparent loss is often dismissed by society as more insignificant since “they lived a long life” or “you must have expected it”. Consider grandparents who helped to raise grandchildren or aunts who were “like a mom” to nieces and nephews.
Losing a family pet can also be a devastating event. Pets often are our companions, confidantes, best buddies and the living beings who express the purest of love. For individuals who live alone, it can the the loss of a reason to get up each day. Fur babies are not judgemental and receive us just the way we are… good day, lousy day, broke, out of shape, unemployed and homeless. They don’t care the kind of car we drive or the amount of money in the bank. Their love is unconditional and that teaches all of us a very valuable lesson. Grief after losing a pet can be exacerbated by other life issues and must be validated and honored for healing.
Grief is real. For conversation about your loss and what you can do for help, comment below.
Sarah Byrd, PhD
The Radius Consulting Group, Inc.
“Finding Peace and Direction After Crisis”