2020 has been a difficult year for us all, and we’ve all experienced a degree of loss: the ability to live our lives as we knew them, job losses, a loss of freedom and entertainment, and whether or not we can safely see friends and family.

Day-to-day losses continue to prevail in our lives as well. I recently experienced one: I managed to leave my purse unattended and someone else took possession of a pretty important cluster of items—cell phone, wallet, cash, credit cards etc.

I noticed myself going through the classic stages of grief:

  • Shock/Denial: I can’t believe my eyes!!! Maybe I didn’t bring my purse with me at all today? Perhaps it is at home in its usual place? I kept looking in every possible spot expecting to find my purse- it was gone.
  • Anger: How dare people take what isn’t theirs! How could I be so irresponsible!!! I managed to be angry at the unknown thief and at myself at the same time!! Quite a feat!
  • Sadness: I was so busy today- now I am even busier. A feeling of shame too— that I hadn’t paused to think long enough to protect what is mine.
  • Acceptance: Wracking my brain to recall the items in the purse as well as every bank account/credit card possibly affected and staying coherent to make the calls.

Today, I am thinking of loss. Many people have lost homes and possessions to the rampant fires. The greater loss is that of those we love- people we have to say goodbye to on this earth. I am reminding myself that a purse and financial security and a disrupted few days is not the worst event that could happen.

I am sure you can recall loss. Loss comes in many forms: loss through death, loss of relationship,  health, job, security, dream. Perhaps you, like me, try to find all the things that could be done so that this ‘loss won’t happen again’ or at least we could be ‘better prepared to face it when it inevitably comes.’ As human beings, no matter how hard we try we will never be error free, able to see the future perfectly and plan accordingly or leap buildings at a single bound.

I have found in the counseling world- being a counselor myself, that counselors experience loss too. Counselors are unable to guarantee a bright and rosy future for themselves let alone for their clients. However, with life experience, education and a willingness to listen and come alongside others, Counselors are able to mitigate some of the pain of Loss. If you would like to experience someone making a good faith effort to hear you, understand your pain and come alongside as you hunt for what is missing in your life- give us a try. Angela Olson- for Cedar Valley Counseling


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