Losses happen every day, in varying degrees, to everyone. Death of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of a job, loss of youth, loss of function, loss of something material. Incorporated in all of our lives which, of course, includes new doors opening and rebirth, is loss. Sometimes we are acutely aware of loss and sometimes only subtly.
Acknowledging and grieving over certain dramatic losses, such as the death of a loved one, is expected and there is a seeming protocol to go through to find happiness again though grief's protocol often mystifies and exceeds our expectation of what it should be. Other losses, however, are more subtle, such as the loss which comes with making a life change like moving or changing jobs. Or aging. Or watching our children grow up. Often the loss that comes with normal life changes, especially when a new chapter opens, can illude our awareness yet we find ourselves reacting to something and aren't sure why we feel sort of sublimally sad. This can, unfortunately, lead to a kind of anxiety or what I would call "anticipatory grief".
A therapeutic relationship can provide a venue for identifying, respecting and acknowledging the impact these feelings have on us and help us keep them in perspective, especially if we think they are "just little things" that shouldn't be upsetting us in the first place; that we should be "over it" and moving forward. Therapy can provide coping strategies for navigating grief and loss and help expedite the process.
Jane Maki, LMFT Psychotherapy® 6906 Pacific View Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068
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