It’s Important to Grieve the Little Losses Too

. at . 5 comments

413701_fall_baseball_It is also important not to focus on just the big losses. As important as they are, they might not account for the majority of losses that we go through in a lifetime. It’s the many little losses that we experience day after day, year after year, that add up. Thousands of small hurts can collect in the heart and create a growing wound. A lot of small losses can also create a deeply wounded person.” (Hipp, 1)

This accumulation of ungrieved losses will affect how we deal with the big losses in our life. This accumulation of losses can cause grief seemingly out-of-proportion to the event. Loss can come from any kind of change both good and bad. Earl Hipp in his book, Help for the Hard Times: Getting Through Loss, lists many examples of loss events (pp 6-7). His examples show there are “many ways to experience a loss” and they are all valid losses which hurt and need grieving. Some examples are as follows . . .

  • Losing a toy (like a baseball), library book or anything else of value
  • Realizing there is no Santa (my daughter was hit hard by this one)
  • Catching the Tooth Fairy in the act
  • Losing a relationship through a move, break up, divorce, job or school change or a gradual fading of interest/ties
  • New baby in the family
  • Not getting chosen for a team, sorority, job promotion
  • Graduating
  • Getting a bad grade on a paper or receiving a bad work performance review
  • Being put in advanced classes (in school) or being promoted which causes leaving friends behind
  • Losing/gaining weight
  • Starting a new job, school, church, retirement
  • Failing a test in school, for a driver’s license or job promotion
  • Being put down/bullied/made fun of  by kids in school, people at work, parents, friends, leadership at school or church
  • Not going on a date or not being asked by friends to do something
  • Hearing some gossip about yourself
  • Moving from one grade or stage in life to another
  • Watching someone close to you moving from one grade or stage in life to another

Action Steps – Remember that how we view losses is individual to each one of us. What might be little to someone is BIG to someone else.

  1. What are some of the “little”  and big losses you’ve experienced? Brainstorm a list.
  2. What can you do to grieve one or more of them?

Related Posts at Fruitfulwords

Related Internet Post . . . Why You’re Terrible at Goodbyes (by  at English Lessons)

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Works Cited

Hipp, Earl.Help for the Hard Times. Center City: Hazelden, 1995.                    

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Entry filed under: Grief, Main.

Mourning is a Choice Grief Affects Behaviors, Feelings, Thoughts (Including Memory), & Body

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lynette  |  . at .

    When my son was in the ER last week I watched him go through the stages of loss, anger, denial, fear to acceptance. He didn’t have the surgery afterall, but it was a learning experience for both of us. It’s not the first time I have watch him go through stages of grief. The one other time I remember clearly is when his fish died. It was interesting watching him clearly moving through grief to acceptance in a matter of hours. He did not know that was what was going on, but I beleive these past griefs will help him in the future with other losses. I also believe God is working in his heart. Mine too.

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  • 2. Theresa  |  . at .

    I have long believed that grief is a cumulative thing. If we are not allowed to fully grieve or another loss hits while we are still grieving something else, then the emotional pain is multiplied. I think some people are afraid to grieve the small things thinking they are being foolish or immature and shold just “get over it” or that they are making a big deal out of “nothing”. My experience is that those things don’t go away. They are stuffed down and come back to the surface at inconvenient times. H. Norman Wright has a book about grieving the different kinds of losses called Recovering From Losses in Life. Not only is he a noted psychologist and author but I believe he has lost an immediate family member tragically (don’t remember the details).

    I’m enjoying your series on grief. I think it’s important for Believers to discuss this. More often than not, the response from my Christian friends has been that grieving is not trusting God, to which I say “NO WAY!” I have been closest to Him then because He is the only one is always there for me. I believe He understands grieving… He made us and He knows how we work! That is comfoting to me.

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  • 3. susan2009  |  . at .

    Lynette, that is an interesting point. So it seems it’s good to let children deal with losses instead of over-protecting to never ever letting the experience losses. I know some parents like that.

    If we can learn as youngsters how to deal with/process losses we’ll have better coping skills as adults. Seems like our relatiohsip with God could be stronger too since we’ll have seen Him helping us through the painful times.

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  • 4. susan2009  |  . at .

    Theresa, “NO WAY” Indeed! I think the reverse is true, fully gireiving is trusting God. I say this because the pain is so intense at times and it is overwhelming. I need to have God’s help and assurance that it will end, be worth it and that I’ll heal.

    I haven’t heard about that book from H. Norman Wright. I’ll have to see if the library has a copy.

    We are being disengenious when we don’t acknowledge our losses and the feelings that come as a result of the losses. I agree, it isn’t selfish or petty. Grief can be a catalyst of great growth – when I let it. I’ve also noticed that those times are often when I “feel” closest to God. Of course, I’ve also had the opposite experience too.

    I appreciate the comments both you and Lynette left. It causes me to think more deeply about this topic. I see that I still have grief work to do. Sigh. It does seem to take so much time and energy. Good job that Heaven will have nothing to do with grief. So this pain is indeed temporary!

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