Grief is Not Only About Death

On this day, November 9, 2016 the world is creatively considering what the future looks like based on the choices made and actions taken. There are those who see and feel how things will be possible; and there are those who see and feel how things will be impossible.  Some are stating that this day will be forever remembered in history, as they step into their future.

On this day, twenty years ago, November 9, 1996 I too was creatively considering what the future looked like, based on the choices made and actions taken.  I too, was seeing and feeling how all things were possible and there was nothing impossible about that.

Twenty years ago, the sun was shining, the temperature was balmy for November and well over 300 people gathered to celebrate a wedding. Believing, as they did, that on this day, as we stepped into our future this date will be forever remembered in history.

Wherever you live on this planet Earth.   One thing is for certain, grief is not only about death.

“Grief is the conflicting group of human emotions caused by an end to or change in a familiar pattern or behavior.  Thus, any changes in relationships to people, places or events can cause the conflicting feelings we call grief.”

–The Grief Recovery Handbook

An experience of loss is not stand alone, it can have multiple facets.

When a spouse dies in addition to losing a loved one and ending of a relationship; it may or may not include:

  • loss of normalcy
  • loss of self
  • loss of confidence
  • loss of unrealized hopes
  • loss of unrealized dreams
  • loss of trust
  • end of other relationships [family, friends]
  • financial changes
  • job or career changes
  • moving
  • legal problems
  • loss of expectations for your children

And I stress “may or may not include” those losses because everyone’s relationship is unique.  There may be more to add to that list or for some less.

Its not an effort to quantify the loss, because everyone’s relationship to what has been lost is unique.

Using the results of the recent election; some may be feeling grief over the results and other losses such as:

  • loss of confidence
  • loss of direction
  • loss of purpose
  • loss of normalcy
  • loss of faith
  • loss of relationships
  • loss or change of health of a nation
  • loss or change of money
  • loss of trust
  • loss of safety
  • loss of hopes
  • loss of dreams
  • loss of expectations of the future

The common denominator in either example being unresolved feelings of: wanting something more, better or different.

And the same can be said for those outside of the direct experience.  People can feel grief for those same experiences because a common connection to the whole.

It is normal and natural to feel grief after a loss of any kind, I repeat after loss of any kind.

So on this day, as you step into your future I invite you to…

Be Gentle with yourself and others.

Everyone’s experience is unique.

Choose not to compare your feelings of loss, because feelings are valid.  You feel what you are feeling and others are feeling their feelings.

Listen and share from the heart not the head.

Create a safe place to listen and to be heard.


Sherry Trentini

As a Life & Grief Coach, I love helping people let go the hard stuff to make room and create the good stuff. I have a healthy respect for the resistance to letting things go, while knowing the liberation that comes from doing just that. I am all about helping you navigate through and towards your future. Additionally, I'm a gratitude junkie, a decluttering advocate and loves to do burpees as exercise!

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