The Landscape of Loss

The Landscape of Loss
photo: DeeAshley, Creative Commons
photo: DeeAshley, Creative Commons

We are a society that loves to acquire. So when loss comes (as it inevitably will) we find ourselves generally ill-equipped to respond.

By the age of 14 most of us have experienced at least five major losses.

Into adulthood, the losses continue to accrue. Many of us are taught lessons about loss that are not healthy, lessons like: “Don’t feel bad.” So we busy ourselves with life as if moving on is a sign of recovery when in fact, it may only serve to cause the situation to become progressively worse. This is especially true if each loss is continually pushed to the back of our minds instead of being processed in a healthy way.

The landscape of loss looks very different for every person.

However, it’s usually true that the journey through loss will be treacherous and demanding. Grief can be messy. But our society (in general) would rather pursue the happy feelings than to sit with someone who has experienced loss. It is easier to toss out a cliché response than to be present with the pain of another person.

The reality is, we feel bad after a loss occurs.

Allow yourself to feel the sadness from a loss. Take the time to explore the impact of the loss for you personally.  If the feelings become overwhelming, seeking support is essential.



Marlayne Whitlock, M.A., LAPC


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