Dealing with loss is tough, no matter the circumstance. And when grieving the loss of a loved one, we can have many questions. So we spoke to hypnotherapist Marisa Peer to find out how to better deal with loss…
Why are our emotions heightened when we experience loss?
Because loss is so painful and it’s permanent. It makes us feel helpless and hopeless because there is so little that we can do about it. It makes us feel powerless and often out of control, particularly when the loss is linked to illness or death.
What can we learn from a big loss in our lives?
If the loss is because of an unhealthy lifestyle or we have lost a relationship because of our possessive behaviour then we can learn to behave differently next time.
How can we move on from loss and let go?
One of my favourite quotes is that each stage is one that is dying or one that is coming to birth. If your children have left home and you feel empty, focus on the fact that you did a great job. If you’re retired, try to see it as a new stage of life full of all kinds of adventures.
The significance of any event is linked to how effectively that event was mourned. So when you are experiencing loss, it is vital to mourn that loss. To feel the feelings and then you can move on.
You have to feel the feelings until they no longer want to be felt. If you try to suppress them they just keep coming back.
It is very useful to join a support group like CRUSE, which is a bereavement organisation or join any support group online if you feel you have no one else to share it with, or that you have shared it enough with your family or friends. Talking to other bereaved parents or partners always help, and the same goes if you have been made redundant.
How can we see loss as a positive thing?
The loss has created a vacancy. Many people who get fired go on to have a much better career. Many people who were dumped realise later on that the dumper did them a huge favour. Catherine Zeta-Jones was dumped by Angus Leslie and Angus Macfadyen, went to America with a broken heart and became Hollywood royalty. None of this could have happened unless she had been dumped.
The popularity of Last Tango in Halifax is because it’s all about new beginnings, new chances coming in after loss.
So instead of looking at the ending, look at the beginning.