Good Grief! 6 Things to Know When Facing a Loss

Loss is not something that people like to think about. Rather it is something that we all have to address at some time in our lives. These days we learn about stress management in school, at work, even in our doctor’s office. However, no one tells us how to handle loss. This is one of the biggest sources of stress in one’s life. 

Because of the increase in one’s perception of loss during the Covid 19 pandemic, losses in both the physical and mental domain have increased.  The dominant domain that I have noticed in my practice is in the area of grief. Six constants have emerged: 

  1. Everyone grieves in their own way; there is no “right” way
  2. All loss is valid and deserves to be honored, even if it feels “stupid” or “silly”
  3. Grief does not have degrees; my grief is not worse than yours, or vice versa
  4. Grieving is not about “getting over” a loss; it is about learning to live in spite of it
  5. Grief does not have a specific timeline – take the time you need
  6. Getting professional help does not mean there is something wrong with you

When dealing with grief, be patient and gentle with yourself.  Remain certain that you are not alone.  Help is available.  I often rely on Nietzsche’s dictum, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” 

Melissa Rust, LPC, NCC

Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center


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