Typically, we think of grief when we lose a loved one to death. However, we can lose a loved one to Illness, a move such as a change in residence or job, or we can lose a loved one to another relationship. Loss can bring relief as well. If the loved one were a burden at the end of their lives, many partners would feel relief. Additionally, we can feel relief when a loved one moves or change jobs when the loved one was difficult, exhausting, or selfish. Even when we lose a loved one to a relationship, we can feel relief when this opens us up to time and space for ourselves.
Importantly, grief can be primarily about love, loss, and relief.
Therefore, looking at grief more globally allows us to appreciate different perspectives from the loss. “I will miss my mom, and I still love her.” “I am sad to see my best friend move, and I am relieved that he’s no longer so close.” “I will never find another partner like her, and I can find a partner that can offer me love differently.”
We can look at different perspectives when the loss is our own, too. For example, when we lose our health, confidence, happiness, or security, we can look for love and relief in the loss. “I have been diagnosed with heart disease, and now I am aware of diet and exercise.” “I am no longer as confident as I used to be, and I have this new fear that I’ve become curious about.” “I have not been happy lately, and I notice the urge to do things differently, like eating and sleeping more.” I no longer feel safe and notice how much I matter to myself to worry about it.”
We can become intimate with our emotions when we grieve. Bringing awareness and curiosity to these feelings opens us up to different ways to experience them.