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LOSS and GRIEF

As human beings, when we suffer a loss there are many associated emotions. The after effects of facing loss and the accompanying emotions are called ‘grief’. Grief or grieving can be a complicated process. Often, we struggle to identify what emotion we are feeling throughout the process. This is common due to the rapidly changing emotions felt. We may struggle more when reaching out for support from family or friends and feeling as though their support is lacking. Often, statements such as “time heals everything”, or “it will get better, just focus on the positive” can feel dismissive or invalidating and leave us questioning our thoughts or emotions. In reality, grieving and loss is hard, and some days will be harder than others. Our grief can be metaphorized with a box and ball. Initially, when we suffer a loss in our lives, our grief ball is almost the same size as our experiential box. This makes the emotions of grieving touch all aspects of our life and feel very big. As we experience new things in life, our box begins to grow around the ball. While the ball that once felt consuming is unchanged in size, it now feels less overwhelming and constant. Sometimes, our box will be shifted and our ball will touch the sides again enticing a specific emotional response. We see this especially when holidays pass, we hear a song or smell a smell that makes us think of our lost loved one. When grief remains consuming, and we are unable to function in normal daily tasks, we should consider reaching out for additional support. This is often a time when we seek counseling. It is important to remember that grieving is a normal part of loss, and we do not have to suffer alone. 

Best wishes,
 
Kjerstin “KJ” Lemke, MS

Resident in Counseling