Grief is something that every person on this Earth will experience. It’s a part of life, but I’ll admit, it might not be the most enjoyable part. But it can happen on many different levels.
Different Kinds of Grief
When we think of grief, we tend to think of death. Losing loved ones — family, friends, even pets. But grief comes in so many forms.
We grieve the loss of what might have been.
If we’d married our high school sweetheart instead of breaking up after high school…or if we hadn’t married them and had seen what was out there.
If we’d had children earlier or later in life…or not at all.
If we’d left that dead end job years ago…or if we’d never taken it to begin with.
If we’d moved out of our hometown…or if we’d never left.
If we hadn’t been in that car accident…or if we’d just stayed home that day.
If we hadn’t injured during that game or match.
It’s tempting to feel like your grief isn’t important because you didn’t lose someone, but these are all completely valid situations where grief is necessary. Even if you’re happy with your choice, it’s smart to transform the grief and loss of what might have been.
We grieve the loss of who we were.
This is often tied into the loss of what might have been, but not always. It tends to happen to people as they get older. We remember the person we used to be: maybe that was a happier person, a more athletic person, whatever it was. But we aren’t that person anymore.
It may not have been one major change, but instead a slow series of changes that gradually got us where we are now. You may not even be in a bad place, but you simply grieve the person you used to be. It can be hard to let that person go without a healthy mindset and skills.
We grieve the loss of youth.
There are various stages of this type of grief. It happens incrementally but you wake up one day and realize you can’t do what you used to be able to do. Your body hurts. You’re gray, baggy, saggy and wrinkled up. You have strech marks, your body is marked by the years that have passed. Your hair is thinning, your belly is sticking out…things aren’t where they used to be.
It’s normal for some people to grieve the loss of youth, but is it heathy and will it change or solve anything? We all go through experiences and changes. Aging is part of life and it cannot be stopped, so knowing to adjust to the changes and accepting life as it is, is the key to long term happiness. Enjoy life and keep the treasures.
We grieve the death of people.
There may be no deeper ache than the death of a loved one. Losing someone so close to you changes you. It’s impossible to compare losing a child, parent, spouse, family member or friend. Every experience is unique, but knowing how to let go and keep the presents given with each experience is the key.
It’s easy for people to lean into that pain. To swim in the depths of despair. But it isn’t healthy to stay there for long. Some people have the belief that if you loved someone then you need to grieve for their loss. I disagree with that completely; if you loved them you would honor their life and the gifts and good experiences they gave you.
We grieve the loss of people.
Maybe the person we loved didn’t die. Maybe the relationship simply ended. And this doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship. All kinds of relationships come to an end.
You can lose a beloved stepparent or step siblings because of a divorce.
You can lose a dear friend because they move, or maybe because the friendship simply faded away.
You can lose a colleague because they found a new job.
Your kids move out of the house, which is also a loss for some people.
Your kids choose a partner that you don’t get along with, which disrupts your relationship or even causes it to end entirely.
Losing people hurts, even if it’s a platonic relationship. We want to keep the gift of the experience, by remembering all the positive memories and good feelings and release all of the pain and the bad memories.
We grieve the loss of animals.
Losing a pet can be hard. We grieve that loss, whether your beloved animal comes to the end of their life or simply because we had to give them to a better home. Animals become part of the family and a part of your daily schedule, so this leaves an empty spot in your life, when they die.
Change is part of life and how you adjust to those changes, will determine your physical health, which is a direct reflection of your emotional coping skills.
Jessica lost her dog, Pepper. She struggled with the memories of taking the dog to the vet to be put down. She felt guilty and hurt. The last look of her dog has haunted her, and has kept her from getting a new dog. In fact, she felt so bad that any time she saw a dog, she felt guilt and shame.
Jessica discovered one of Robert’s videos and began using eutaptics/FasterEFT to tap on her memories and emotions. She worked on changing all those unpleasant memories.
Jessica taps on thoughts like “I could have taken him to the vet sooner, I should have been more attentive, I could have spent more time walking him” etc.
She realized that there were all these amazing memories of her dog. She was able to remember all the good times, and eventually was even able to get a new dog named Frodo. Now she’s making all kinds of new memories with Frodo, while still remembering the fond memories of Pepper.
Next week we’ll talk about exactly how Jessica was able to move past the grief of losing her beloved dog, and how others have done the same.