Grief and loss are universal experiences; however, just as every person is unique, experiencing grief is unique to every individual. Religion, spirituality, culture, and/or ethnicity can provide guidance for coping with grief and loss, while temperament and personality contribute to the uniqueness of an individual’s grief experience.
The loss of a relationship, the loss of some aspect of self, and the loss of treasured tangible property all have the potential to cause grief. In addition to the death of a loved one, relational losses can happen during many life transitions such as the loss of a job, moving, or retirement. Losing an aspect of yourself includes losing states of being such as innocence or independence, and physical aspects such as hearing or eyesight. The loss of treasured tangible property is evident in situations such as when a home and/or personal belongings are destroyed during a natural disaster, or when a senior citizen is unable to keep his valued possessions when he moves into a nursing facility. In the article From Losing a Person or an Idea to Your Sense of Safety: The Types of Grief No-One Talks About and How to Recognise Them, Lauren Ingram provides valuable insight into various types of often-overlooked grief.
To encourage and empower people during their journey through grief, Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, educator, author, and grief counselor, wrote The Mourner’s Bill of Rights. The Mourner’s Bill of Rights is a list of ten statements beginning with the declaration that all people “have the right to experience [their] own unique grief.” The final declaration proclaims that all people “have the right to move toward [their] grief and heal.”
At times when people feel stuck in their grief, grief counseling can be very beneficial. For all who are transitioning through the challenges of grief and loss, we are here to help.