Different Types of Loss and Its Transformation to Grief

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The loss of a child would trigger grief in an individual. This can be seen as the ultimate tragedy as no parent should outlive their child. This type of loss would lead you through the usual symptoms and stages of grief but it could also become more complex as a parental bereavement would make it very difficult to resolve as there would be the feeling that this loss never should have happened. The relationship between a parent and their child is among the most powerful in life, as a parent their life revolves around their children no matter what age they are so there would be the sense of failure for no longer being able to care for and protect your child. It would feel like you have lost a part of yourself.

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The loss of a partner would also trigger grief in an individual. Losing a partner can be life shattering, whether the death was sudden or following a long illness, that life you created together, all the hopes and dreams will have changed and you’ll now have to start planning your future as a single person again. This can lead to the feeling of loneliness as that other half of you was now gone. This can also affect your own physical and mental health especially if you are older and were very dependent on your partner you could experience depression, anxiety and it can even lower your life expectancy.

The loss of mobility would trigger grief in an individual. A person can lose their mobility through an unexpected illness, deteriorating medical condition, or in an accident. This sudden change will massively impact on the life they once led which could lead to depression as they may feel they can no longer go on with life not being able to care for themselves or do the things in life that they enjoy. There will also be the feeling of anger as they might feel they have been forced to deal with new changes including their self-image. There is also the concern about their future and what their disability might affect such as their work, daily activities and also any medical expenses that may occur.

The loss of a relationship can trigger grief in an individual. The end of a relationship is felt to be similar as experiencing a death. Therefore moving on from a relationship could use the same process as mourning a death. A breakup or divorce can completely disrupt your life from your daily routine to your relationships with extended family and friends and even your own identity this can all lead to uncertainty about the future and the feeling that you may never find someone else which can often seem worse than being in an unhappy relationship. Not only will there be a loss of companionship and shared experiences there could also be a financial loss.

William Worden suggests that most people will go through four tasks when processing loss. These tasks are in no particular order although there is some natural order in completion of another task. He recognizes that people may need to revisit certain tasks over time and that there is no specific time for each person to recover from a task. The four tasks are acceptance, working through the pain of grief, adjusting to a changed environment and finding an enduring connection with the deceased while embarking on a new life. There are a number of ways that someone can accept the reality of a loss and this could be by going through the planning of a funeral or memorial or they could also begin to speak and think about the person in past tense such as using the word ‘was’ instead of ‘is’. After accepting the loss each person can experience different types of pain which can be physical, emotional or behavioral.

Being able to acknowledge this and talk about it will give you a better understanding and will help you to work through them. Adjusting to a new environment can be very different to people depending on the relationship of the person who has died as well as the roles that are impacted by the loss.

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