Identifying and Coping With Living Losses
Through Pathways of Hope Grief Counseling Centers, Ohio’s Hospice and its affiliates continue to provide opportunities to receive bereavement and supportive services for our patients, their families, our partners and our communities. We are aware that adjusting to the “new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges to our sense of normality and challenged our assumptive world. Bereavement and grief resources can be beneficial as we process our losses.
David Hargrave, LSW, CPT, bereavement counseling professional at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, hosts a three-part video series, Identifying and Coping With Living Losses. A living loss occurs when an individual experiences grief without a death. With normal grief, there is an internal movement towards self-repair, a return to the world. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have lost a part of their everyday lives as they stay at home and limit in-person socializing.
Part 1 – Identifying and Coping With Living Losses
David Hargrave discusses and defines grief and living losses. He addresses new challenges people face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grief is the natural human response when we lose someone or something we love. When there are losses or we lose things, there is an automatic grief response. Whenever we experience the death of a loved one, people express their condolences. With living losses, no one has died. Living losses include moving, losing a job, living with a chronic condition, the breakup of a relationship, the death of a dream, loss of a routine because of a natural disaster, and changes in family patterns because of a pandemic.
Part 2 – Identifying and Coping With Living Losses
This is the second segment in a three-part video series. David Hargrave continues his discussion about bereavement and living losses. He talks about ways to grieve and provides positive coping tips. With living losses, individuals need to recognize their grief and give themselves permission to grieve. When tasks become monumental, recognize that you are grieving. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have experienced living losses, including financial losses or the loss of a job. This pandemic has disrupted relationships for school children. A loss of routine is a living loss. Working from home can be a living loss. Each of us experiences living losses in our own way. Assess and then take care of yourself.
Part 3 – Identifying and Coping With Living Losses
This is the third segment in a three-part video series. David Hargrave talks more specifically about living losses. He discusses the four tasks of mourning — accepting the reality of the loss; accepting the pain of the loss; adjusting to our new environment; connecting with the past and accepting a new normal. In addition, he identifies the positive coping skills and strategies that will help us as we adjust to this new environment of living losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to work through our grief in a healthy manner. To cope with living and symbolic loss, we need to take care of ourselves, establish a routine, limit news and information, and engage in meaningful age-appropriate discussions.