Learn how grief can be felt because of anticipated bad events or the loss of a positive imagined future as it relates to people or events.
- I look at the coronavirus pandemic and the simultaneous downturn of our global economy as a time of profound loss and profound vulnerability, or heightened vulnerability. In fact, the losses are almost too many to mention. Topping the list is loss of life, followed by loss of health, work, wages. A loss of face to face contact and loss of easy movement in nature. Loss of familiarity, loss of predictability, and the loss of our sense of stability. There's also worry over what I would call an anticipated negative future and also the loss of a positive imagined future. The first one is known as anticipatory grief. The second one I call grief over lost potentials. Now anticipatory grief is the mind going to the future and imagining the worst. Because of so much uncertainty, the focus is one what bad might happen. An awareness of something ominous breaks one's sense of safety. To deal with anticipatory grief, you can help yourself by taking deep slow breaths to bring yourself back right now into the present moment. Even just notice the pace and the sound of your breathing to focus on right now. Look at your surroundings and see that you are safe and have the resources that you need. And if you are asking what if questions followed by an anticipated negative outcome, then make efforts to balance each negative focus with a what if question followed by a positive outcome. Stay focused only on what you can do to stay safe and healthy as these are the efforts that are in your control. Think exercise or what you eat and your nutrition. When I think of what people grieve over, especially when there is a separation from or a loss of a loved one, I believe that one doesn't just grieve the loss of the everyday interactions. I think there's more. I believe that the grief over lost potentials, or grief over the lost imagined futures you would have with that person, is either equally as hard or harder than that everyday loss. In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, think of all those students, for instance, who imagined their high school or college commencements, or senior proms, or dance recitals, or barn bat mitzvahs, or weddings, or travel, or all of the possibilities that were imagined and yet, will never occur. This grief, this same sadness, helplessness, anger, and disappointment is so very real. Recognize that grieving over lost potentials, all these unlived and unrealized opportunities and dreams, is important too.
- Understanding difficult feelings
- Defining grief
- Dealing with loss and change
- Supporting grieving colleagues
- Returning to work