When we think of grief, most of us think of loved ones we have lost through death, whether it was a sudden, unexpected loss, or the expected, but nonetheless painful loss of an elderly parent or grandparent. But most of us have experienced grief in many other ways. Knowing that this is normal and healthy is very important in moving through the various forms of grief.
What we grieve
- Death – Loss of life of a person or pet
- Job loss – Whether the job loss is a choice (to a new company, or a promotion), or due to termination
- Relationship loss – Again, whether a relationship ends through your own choice, the choice of the other person, or a mutual decision, grief is a normal reaction
- Being single – When people enter a committed relationship, it is normal for them to grieve the freedom of being single as they adjust to the new freedom of commitment
- The simplicity of childhood – Who hasn’t wished that their biggest project deadline was turning in a fingerpainting of their pet?
- A home, even a bedroom – People are often surprised by the melancholic feeling that can arise when they look at an empty room or home after living there for a time
- “What might have been” – When we consider times we missed out on when we lose somebody or something sooner than expected, or when we consider how things could have been different/better had our past been different
- Health – As we age, we often grieve how easily we used to run up the stairs, play at the park, or even play those blazing lead guitar riffs!
- “Shattered Assumptions” – When we go through a traumatic event, we have assumptions of safety and security that are shattered (“Wildfires don’t happen in my neighborhood,” or “Violent crime just doesn’t happen around here.”)
- Traditions – Sometimes when we lose somebody through death, holiday traditions change. For example, when a parent dies, it is not uncommon for holiday celebrations to move to a different house, especially if it was the only surviving parent in the home
Learn more about Counseling for Depression and Grief in Austin.
Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.