Loss and Grief, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The theme of loss is common for all humankind, because we have all experienced losses at some point. There can be loss by death or loss by moving away; there can be loss by choice or by accident (and I’ve seen people argue which one is worse till they were blue in their faces). When we are confronted with loss, we react in very different ways, and the majority of those reactions are normal and healthy.

Being completely overwhelmed by grief or denying feelings, functioning on a high level and taking care of everybody else or not functioning at all; all of those reactions are within normal range. What is not particularly healthy is when we experience only one reaction and it becomes our primary mode of functioning. If, after the loss of a loved one, we are only concerned with how the rest of the family and friends feel, it means that we do now allow ourselves access to our own feelings. If, on the contrary, a year and a half after his or her death, we can only talk about this person, it means that, in a way, we are trying to join that person, we are trying to die instead of living a life and moving on. If after a car accident, in a year we still cannot get behind the wheel, it means we need help. Working with you on this issue, I will help you integrate experiences of loss or trauma into your life. The goal here is to accept what happened as a part of the tapestry of your existence, but not the main pattern. Just like with any chronic illness or loss of social status – all of those events happened to you, but they do not define who you are, and they do not map out your future.