Image by Claudia Wolff

Grief and Loss 

Losing anything we love is never easy, but we're here to help.

Losing someone close to you is one of the most difficult experiences one can have. Loss can happen unexpectadly and place us in a dark and emotional hole. However, these periods can promote deep healing opportunities which may leave us stronger and more connected to the things that may still serve us.  

Learning How to Grieve and Face Loss with More Compassion

Grief and loss are amongst the most painful emotions we can experience during our lifetimes.. While certain people may live relatively well managing their distress, grief and loss can send even the most grounded individuals into a spiraling wreck. These emotions may come after the long and expected death of a parent or after the sudden loss of someone we’ve cared for. We may also grieve after we end a relationship, lose a job, or perhaps part with something we once had or shared. This could even include money, a home, our good health, or even a right or a concept. We may also enter a new phase in life which may lead to a loss of something we identified or connected with. 

When we grieve, we may enter and progress through a series of stages which may at least sound vaguely familiar. You may have previously heard of the stages first identified by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and which can occur after a loss or a break-up. 

 

They include:

  • Denial

  • Anger

  • Bargaining

  • Depression

  • Acceptance
     

Each stage carries with it specific dimensions which entail the individual’s progression through healing. After any loss, we may feel saddened, depressed or even enter a natural period of bereavement. However, when our feelings persist, we may need to find someone to talk things over with. A therapist can provide caring and supportive space to elicit and help individuals find some solace and peace within their emotions. A therapist can help nourish missing elements and help connect missing dots. Those experiencing grief may even feel unconsciously worried about losing others or parts of themselves which may surface an existential threat that can be deeply worrisome. In an attempt to alleviate grief, some individuals may turn to avoidant behaviors such as the use of alcohol or substances. Some may turn to unhealthy sex patterns, gambling, or other addictions in order to escape the emotional pain. Others may attempt to bottle up their pain, only to later have it surface through other other defenses or expressions which could have devastating consequences.
 

The therapist at Love Discovery Institute often see grief as a relational loss. Grief and loss are therefore healed and addressed using a relational therapeutic lens. As we progress through the stages of grief, we explore the meaning behind the relationship we carried with the loss, and how we can learn to cope in its absence. We may not be able to replace or regain what’s been lost, but we can certainly change how we relate to our losses. Through deep, caring, and meaningful conversations, we may begin to understand what the loss means to us and how it may allow us to shape new and powerful relationships with those things we still have.