Many people seek therapy because of a loss in their life. Grief is a universal and yet a profoundly individual experience. I personally have lost people and I know we as human beings will lose someone in our life span. I've heard the words "heart broken", "frozen", "never can get them back," "my life will never be the same." Gosh, these words are raw and an illustration of how painful and life changing loss can be.
You don't have to lose someone to grieve.
We can experience similar emotions in the grief process of shock, anger, disbelief, regret, guilt, and heart wrenching pain when we experience loss of a relationship due to separation. What about when we are letting go of the type of relationship you wish you had with a loved one but can't have. The decline of one's health or physical capabilities can bring tremendous loss. The process of grief can transpire through broken dreams and hopes.
I don't want to minimize losing someone in this life. It is probably one of the most painful things we go through. Yet, I want to point out that we can experience the same emotions even when someone is not gone. We can experience feelings of intense sadness when we let go of things we once hoped for.
So what do we do? There's never a one size fit all answer, right? I encourage you to first acknowledge what you have lost. Maybe that can also be identifying what you had desired. Writing in a journal, sitting in those emotions even for a few minutes each day. That is the first step. It takes courage to do that. Second, find someone that you can share authentically with. It may take a couple of people. People that can sit with you in the pain. If you don't have these people, reach out for support. I have heard others say that connecting to something bigger than oneself can bring some type of peace. Whether that be staring out in the ocean or with your spiritual being. Fill your time with things that bring life even if just for a moment. Remember that there is no time line for lost. There is nothing insignificant or too small. Your story matters. Lastly, be kind to yourself in this process. Give yourself room, time, and permission to heal. There is hope in the pain, question, and unborn words.
If you interested in learning more please contact Sharon Chan LMFT in Orange County. Provides teen, individual, and children therapy.