Like so many others, I have encountered and struggled with loss in my life from an early age, and I have learned that grief is not just about loss through death – it is quite simply about loss itself – any kind of loss that impacts you. Yet, I also believe that it is very easy for all of us to fall into the trap of not really allowing ourselves to fully experience and accept our losses – to get to the other side of our grief and ask ourselves, “OK, so now what?” “What’s next for me?” “Who am I and what am I supposed to do now?”
As a nurse, I have discovered that, especially in healthcare, grieving “too much” or for “too long” is not an acceptable response to any loss. That showing our feelings is seen as a sign of weakness. Instead, we should “move on”, yet we are not ever really told how or shown how to do that. I have learned from both personal and professional experience that grief is never linear, whether we are experiencing personal losses, professional losses, financial losses, or a loss of freedom, independence, mobility, safety, security, peace of mind... it doesn't matter. At some point in the very deep sea of grappling with loss, we all experience that profound sense of feeling alone.
Linde Carter, RN (Registered Nurse), MA (Master of Arts), NC-BC (Nurse Coach - Board Certified), CEOLD (Certified End of Life Doula)