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By: Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern

Greif and loss happen across the entire lifespan in more ways that just death. This can be experienced with the loss of a friendship, loss of an ideal experience, or loss of a job. In all of these instances, we often still experience the different phases associated with grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Though these are the common traits of grief, they don’t necessarily happen in any pre-determined order, but instead can occur at different times and for varying lengths of time.

One of the important aspects of grieving that is largely overlooked is the relational aspect. Each person has a unique experience because they bring a unique personality and coping mechanisms to the experience, they have ongoing relationships that may not be helpful, they have a unique history of dealing with earlier losses, and they have particular expectations about what dealing with loss will look like. Regardless, loss can be identified as an impactful life event that correlates with the strength of our relationship with who or what was lost. For example, losing a prized possession may be painful and require processing through the phases of grief, but losing a loved one may have a more significant impact and take a longer period of time for me to process through the same stages. There is no right way to proceed through the grief and loss. Mourning a loss is no easy feat and the feelings may not decrease. What we can do is better understand our own experience that may lead to acceptance and growth in spite of the pain we feel.

To better understand the grief and loss you may be experiencing, reach out to Owens & Associates at (847)854-4333 for a free 15-minute consultation.