If we think of grief as a reaction to a loss, then it makes sense that we need to grieve anytime someone or something has been taken from us that we did not want to have taken away.

Aging brings loss.

When we’re young, significant loss was usually something for others to deal with. As we age, life takes from us more frequently.

My partner is gone.

Sometimes relationships dissolve and we are left injured. We invested and gave our hearts and when the love is gone or doesn’t work any more, it leaves us hurt. For some, the end of a love relationship brings relief, usually though, saying goodbye to committed love leaves both people injured.

My child moved out.

Children leave home.  They go off to school and off to life and even though we want them to be happy and make progress, having a child move away can be painful, sad and lonely.

My job is done.

Losing a job because you were laid off, let go, or retirement came to call can be very difficult. Besides work providing financial stability, it can also bring a reason to get up in the morning. Retirement is wonderful for some. For others it’s lonely and leaves them searching for meaning.

My illness has taken from me.

Aging often means our parts don’t work as well as they once did and we need to adjust to not being as able as we once were. For some their body becomes a lot of work. Sickness or a condition that needs regular attention and management can take away a carefree feeling or the thought that illness was something others have to deal with.

My friend for so many years has been lost to me.

Growing older often means loosing those who are dear to us. While having friends and relatives die when we are young is rare, losing those we care about is more common as we age. Parents, siblings and dear friends die and that leaves us lost, lonely and injured.

My mortality

Retiring, having an empty nest, facing the end of a love relationship, managing an aging or sick body and watching those we love die, brings our mortality and our existence into focus and causes us to ask difficult questions about our future.

  • Aging brings losses that we did not have to consider when we were younger.
  • Anytime we lose someone or something we did not want to have taken away,
  • we need to grieve.
  • Grief is a necessary emotional response to a hurtful loss and it needs our attention.
  • Emotional discomfort does not get better or resolve on its own.
  • Choosing to avoid the pain of loss may seem reasonable but unaddressed psychological pain will eventually come back and cause problems.

John D. Martin is the author of I Can’t Stop Crying, Grief and Recovery a Compassionate Guide and Help Me I Hurt. Both books can be found at Amazon.

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