“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.” – Mark Twain
Both of these involve the loss of something held most dear. This is heart wrenching – no matter what it may be. So although grief most often is associated with a loved one passing away this is merely the worst case scenario. Different types of loss incur feelings of grief to present in varying degrees of intensity.
Types of loss can include:
– Loss of a relationship:
Such as divorce or separation from a partner, separation or moving away from friends and family, children leaving home, work changes like losing a business, unemployment, retrenchment, retirement or even a move to working from home;
– Loss of finances:
Be it income, assets or market share. This can accompany work changes above, resulting in a double whammy;
– Loss of life or health:
Losing a loved one or the deterioration of either the health of a loved one or our own health.
In a Healthdirect article on Grief and loss, the following are listed to summarise key facts:
- Grief is a response to the loss of someone or something that was important.
- Grief can occur after a death, divorce, illness or other significant loss.
- Grief can affect your physical and mental health.
- Grieving is an individual process and it is different for everyone.
It goes on to explain the effects of grief, how all consuming it can be and the impact this can have on being able to cope mentally and physically on a day to day basis. Although some people become more active in order to cope, a more common tendency is to withdraw. Lack of enthusiasm and motivation in life together with exhaustion can make it challenging to even leave the house (if indeed it is an option these days). Some may resort to substance abuse or have thoughts of hurting themselves or that they can’t go on. This is grief in it’s full intensity.
A less significant loss, although it still knocks us, can be less severe. We may not even realise we are grieving, which we will touch on again later, but our sense of identity and purpose may be lost along with whatever other loss we are faced with. This in itself is enough to cause grief.
A CDC article, also on Grief and Loss, lists common grief reactions to include:
- Shock, disbelief, or denial
- Periods of sadness
- Loss of sleep and loss of appetite
Other physical health ailments include possible stomach aches, headaches and body aches. Plus the exhaustion felt with grief can weaken immunity, increasing susceptibility to falling ill.
This brings us to the pandemic, which currently impacts the lives of everyone. It is evident how this can encompass all the above types of loss, bringing grief to so many, on so many levels. With loss of life as we knew it permeating it all.
We need to acknowledge this loss and find ways to move forward. Please let us know if there is anything you may need our help with, our team is available to support and guide you.