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Redefining The Word 'Grief'

by Darren
(London, ON, Canada)

Let's play 'Word Association' If I say to you the word 'Grief', chances are you will reply with the word 'Death'. About 3 months ago, before I lost my job, I would have said the same thing. Coming to terms with this awful economic situation we all find ourselves in has been a long road for me. One major hurdle I have had to overcome is redefining my definition of the word 'Grief'.

Upon losing my job, I had to deal with many emotions. These were not new emotions, but their voracity was so extreme, I was spiraling out of control. My decision to seek therapy, although not an easy one to make, has been probably the best I have ever made.

I have been unable to deal with my sense of loss of a job I had been in for nearly 3 years. I was angry over the betrayal I felt at being one of the first to be let go, despite my years of service. The sadness that was washing over me came for a sense of loss I felt at saying goodbye to good friends.

I was unaware that all of these feelings were me grieving for my loss. I was always convinced that grieving was something people did when a loved one had died. However, during therapy, I was made to realize that I HAD lost something very dear to me, something that had been a stalwart in my life for so long. It has been this realization that has allowed me to fully start, and begin to understand, the grieving process.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Thank you for this contribution. You are so right--grief can result from any kind of loss, including job loss, divorce or even moving to another city and losing the friends and familiar surroundings you've left behind. As you point out, understanding the grieving process can be very helpful.

Your story will be helpful to other readers, and I thank you on their behalf.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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