When you mention the word grief to people, they immediately think about the loss of a loved one. Grief covers much more than losing someone you love. We begin to experience grief when we are children. The losses in life start when life itself begins. Small children experience loss in many ways that we may not recognize. A first born in a family feels a loss when another child is born. A youngest child may also experience loss if another baby comes into the family. Children often lose grandparents, friends may move away, or pets may die. All of these are natural events that happen regularly, but they leave their mark on our lives.
As adults we experience loss repeatedly and as we age it intensifies. In order to maintain our emotional health it is important to grieve our losses. This applies to older losses and fresh losses. There are few resources within our culture for facing these losses and processing the grief that may be hidden in our hearts. My first encounter with intense grief came to me at age 51 when I was widowed. This loss triggered many losses from my past and led to a long season of healing. As I went to counseling and read books on grief, I began to understand the importance of facing the losses whenever they occurred. The high rates of depression and alcoholism in our country can be attributed to our inability to face our losses.
Grief counseling is a the process that can free you to move ahead in your life and to begin grieving each loss as it comes so the temptation to self medicate is removed and real healing can take place. If you have suffered a loss don't minimize it. It could be a death in the family, a job loss , moving, giving up a house, friends etc. Loss is loss and we feel it deeply. The grief process is meant to bring healing and restoration.
In my practice I see great changes in people who unearth old losses, are able to face them and realize their effect. It is very freeing and life giving.