Life brings an ongoing series of good-byes, small and large. Every new job, every new residence, the completion of a course or an academic level in school, each loss or change in a relationship connection (family, friends, coworkers, school buddies, church colleagues, club members and other associates), and those significant and inevitable life transitions (serious illness, marriage, parenthood, divorce, retirement, death) make their own unique demands for integration and emotional acceptance.
Every goodbye is an opportunity to practice grieving skills. The vast majority of us, however, have little appreciation of the offering, much less the importance, of such practice. Indeed, with the exception of divorce and death, we are often unaware of the need for grieving. So it is no wonder that when such major goodbyes as divorce and death come along, we are not only overwhelmed by our feelings, we are overwhelmed by the task of mourning.
This is true whether it is our loss or we are witness to another’s pain in their loss. In fact, unless we have processed our own grief, we generally cannot fully ‘be there’ for someone else because their pain triggers our own unresolved issues.
Why look at loss? To understand and to heal. For ourselves and for others.