Throughout our lives we deal with loss. Every choice we make means not choosing something else. Some changes are invited, welcomed, planned for - retirement, a move to a new home, or country, a different career. Others are not invited, appreciated or planned for - a sudden change in health, the death of a partner or friend, financial reversals, job loss. Whether or not a change is welcomed, it is rarely without stress, some anxiety and most definitely, loss. Something is being left behind.

The stress of that loss and how we acknowledge and grieve it will have an impact on and be impacted by your overall health, your support network, your belief system, spiritual and religious beliefs and so much more.

It’s a process. No one way is the right way. What is important is to allow yourself the space and time. Tell your story. Your life, your loss - there is a magical healing when we are heard and acknowledged. Some people tell their story (with changing versions over time) a few times, and that’s it. For others, it may take years.

I’m reminded of a woman who came to me for counseling a year after her husband’s death. Friends and even family were a bit surprised at the length and depth of her grief. She and her husband each headed a different department at U.C. Berkeley. They traveled independently for work, had different as well as the same friends, and were anything BUT a co-dependent couple. However, as the wife spoke, I learned of a 30-year relationship. Of each supporting the other’s growth and development. And how, no matter where each was in the world, they would speak each day and evening before sleep. She reported that telling each other of their day WAS the reason for it all. They were deeply and wonderfully connected. Probably the most difficult thing for her was the expectation of others (and their surprise), that she did not “get on with her life” in a more expedient manner.

Being part of a couple for a large part of your life, with the ups and downs, is still a major part of how we identify ourselves. Learning what we like and how we like to do our lives as a “solo” persontakes time. It takes quiet. It takes allowing moments or waves of grief, and moments of clarity and even a sense of purpose. 

How and in what way you choose to work through this and create your future will be your very own personal road map. There are signposts and help along the way. Professionals and friends and family are eager to support you.

I bless you on this part of your journey and hope to hear of the moments of joy and surprise as well as those of missing and loss.