Loss, and by association grief, come in a variety of forms.
Many think that loss only refers to death of a loved one or a close friend. But the feeling of loss can occur from any number of circumstances. Moving to a new city or country, breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, developing a chronic illness, or losing hope in a life-long dream are some examples of loss that are not associated with death.
Even if we only focus on loss connected to death, there are many different types. The death of a pet, a parent, a sibling, a friend. A miscarriage. We can even feel the impact of deaths thousands of miles away, such as from the all-too-numerous school shootings happening all over America or the increasing number of natural disasters we hear about worldwide.
With all these types of loss, it can seem overwhelming! Especially since we don’t seem to talk about our grief, as a culture. For years we’ve been taught at an early age that grief is a private emotion, not to be shared or talked about. But our cultural feelings on this topic are shifting. Holding grief inside, not discussing it with anyone can be incredibly harmful, especially to children who are still developing socially and cognitively. The normalization of grief, that realization we’re not alone, can be lifesaving!
So we’re here, about to post a whole series of blog entries on different types of loss in order to help normalize the grief process. In the following months we’ll be posting on specific types of loss. We’ll give you tips on everything from how to talk to your kids about a death, to how to continue honoring a lost loved one, and how to talk to couples who have had a miscarriage. Don’t worry, it’s not all about death. We’ll also be providing tips on reducing the stress of a big move on you and your kids, as well as ways to cope with breaking up with a partner or fighting with a friend.
Most importantly, we will be offering ways to normalize your grief process and to normalize grief for those grieving around you. Everyone suffers a loss in their life, many while still kids! So we’re here to start talking about it. Yes, it could be painful. And no, you don’t have to share your stories until you are ready! That’s one of the interesting things about grief- it’s completely individualized and all about YOU! Participate when you can. Share when you can. And remember to give your friends the same security in their own grief.
The next entry begins our series on Types of Grief. We’ll start with a lighter topic, easier to discuss: The Big Move! Tips for talking with kids about moving away & ways to acknowledge their moving grief.