Life Transitions

A life loss is a separation from a significant person, place, item, or event. There are small life losses and major life losses.

What are life losses?

a change in plansa divorce
a frustrationthe deaths of a person or pet
a misplaced itema severe illness
a forgotten activity or eventa loss of a job
a disappointmenta catastrophic event

All persons experience numerous life losses, small and major, throughout their lives. To cope with and resolve all life losses, people need to develop skills through which they process the cognitive and emotional impact of the loss and incorporate methods of resolution or completion within their lives.

People who can incorporate each loss in a positive way in their life develop strength of character and self-confidence which helps them cope with other losses.

People who cannot incorporate each loss in a positive way in their life succumb to a variety of behaviors and life choices derived to eliminate the emotional pain. These behaviors and life choices tend to be negative and destructive causing additional emotional pain and low self-esteem. This is often manifested through anger and/or depression.

Watch our Director, Mrs. Stephan and Fr. Mike Manning discuss the scope of life losses.

Understanding Normal Grief Reactions

Everyone who experiences a loss will have emotional and behavioral changes as part of their grieving process. People may wonder: Is there a “right” way to grieve? Why do I feel out of control? The following grief reactions are normal and natural.

  • I feel as if it isn’t real or it didn’t happen
  • I feel a tightness in my throat/heaviness in my chest
  • My mood changes quickly, often over the smallest thing
  • I wonder what I have left to live for
  • I feel anger, sometimes
  • I cry at unexpected times and often have trouble stopping
  • I don’t want to be around others when I feel sad
  • I have trouble concentrating or staying “on task”
  • I can “feel” my loved one’s presence through sound, smell, touch
  • I feel that my mind is going constantly and I cannot stop
  • I have trouble going to sleep and/or staying asleep
  • I don’t feel like eating or cooking
  • I find myself eating often and randomly
  • I miss my loved one’s touch
  • I feel so lonely even when others are around
  • I feel guilty about things I did or didn’t do
  • I have regrets over my relationship with my loved one
  • I feel like I should have done something else for my loved one

It is important to identify a few people with whom you can share your feelings  and with whom you can talk about and process your loss. Crying is an  appropriate response to this very sad situation. Please allow yourself this and other expressions of grief.

Grieving takes time and energy. Please be gentle and kind with yourself. Move at the pace which is appropriate for you. Engage in the activities which bring you comfort and solace.

Click on the following links to learn more: