A word about grief and loss as we head towards the holiday season

For some people the holiday season is a highly anticipated time of celebration with family and friends, but unfortunately, for others it is a time where unresolved grief can come to the fore, which can make getting through this period extremely difficult.

Grief does not only result from the death of a loved one, it can result from any type of significant loss, where something that previously was there is now not, and an emptiness ensues. This can be the loss of a relationship, a friendship, a change of job, a child moving out of home, an accident, a loss of trust or confidence after a betrayal, and so on.

Grief is an inevitable part of life that should be accepted, and for most people the support of their loved ones is enough to navigate this difficult period. Grief affects us in significant ways, including raising potential physical, psychological, social and spiritual issues, and it is when these issues are not addressed that grief can become a problem. While grief is a normal and healthy response to loss, unresolved grief can lead to depression and other psychosocial problems. In this case, or if you lack the support you need to process your grief for whatever reason, it is important to seek help.

Grief does not need to be an entirely negative experience, it is possible that with help and support, the experience of loss and grief can form a catalyst for change that can lead to very positive outcomes. For example, with loss can come a greater appreciation of what we still have, and a motivation to enjoy life to the fullest. You do not need to reform your life in a way that makes you feel that what was lost never existed in the first place, but to find a way to honour and cherish what was before, while still moving forward in life.


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