Archive | December 2014

Grief and Loss in the New Year

Excitement  is in the air as 2014 draws to a close.  In about 24 hours we will ring in the new year, and we will start over again.  New possibilities will await us, and resolutions will be made.  As we welcome the coming of a new year many of us will continue to grieve the losses we endured in 2014.  The sentiment will be different for these people.  Many people  lost a loved a one this year.  Some will never know what happened to their friends, or family members because they are missing.  Others have a better idea of what happened.  Some have concrete answers and know that their loved ones have passed away.

On March 8th, MH370,  a flight going from Kuala Lumpur to  Beijing went missing and never turned up.  On Sunday December 28,2014 QZ8501, a flight going from Surbabya to Singapore, went down  in the Java Sea.  The families of the passengers on MH370 did not get closure because the plane was never recovered.  In the last few days wreckage from QZ8501 has been found along with several bodies.  The grief process will look different for those who lost loved ones on QZ8501, than MH370.  In clinical terms we call grief surrounding a missing individual ” ambiguous loss.”  The type of loss encountered by families of passengers from MH370, is type one loss which occurs when I person is physically absent, but emotionally/psychologically present.  When we are certain that someone has died there is more closure, but these people will still fill the grief no matter how or what happened.

If you are reading this, and it reminds you of a friend, or colleague that has lost somebody this year I encourage you to check on that person. Make sure that they don’t spend New Years alone unless they are adamant that that is their desire.  The holidays are a stressful time, but it can be a lot harder for someone who has lost a loved one.  Holidays and anniversaries can be especially hard for those who lost loved ones.  The same could be recommended if you know of someone who has yet to receive confirmation that their loved one has died.

If you happened to have lost someone this year make sure that you  surround yourself with people love, and know you as you celebrate the coming of a new year.  A new year can make it painstakingly clear that you are leaving your loved one behind in past, and it can be hard to accept that truth.  If you want to be alone spend time reflecting, and reminiscing.  You might also consider doing something for yourself.  Watch that movie you’ve been meaning to see.  Cook your favorite food, or take time to tackle a project you’ve been meaning  to do.  Either way, whatever you decide to do, know that you are no alone. The sentiment can be very different if you’ve recently suffered, a loss but hopefully you will find peace in knowing that somewhere someone else is dealing with a same set of circumstances.  This holiday may look different for you , but that is more than fine.  A new  year will soon begin,  and things will get better in time.