Grief is perhaps one of the most misunderstood aspects of our lives. We do not deal well with loss or with grief. We may even treat grief as an enemy, we want to fight it, or we act as if it isn’t really happening to us. Grieving is a healing process within our body that is as vital as the physical healing after surgery.
Just as our bodies need time to heal from a physical injury so do our emotions need time to heal from loss. This may be the death of a loved one, divorce or loss of a job. Grief is a healing phase and should be treated as such; and a time for self care is so vital.
We hear of many companies downsizing or restructuring and with that also come some job losses. A job loss can bring about a grief that is in some ways more difficult to deal with than when a loved one dies. This is because of the increased complexity of job-loss grief in today’s society. It may mean we will have to do some retraining, or even harder to accept is a new job and moving ourselves and family to another location. When we are first informed that our employer is going to delete our position, we will go through various stages of grief.
• Stage one: Denial. “This can’t be happening to me”- “This must be a mistake.” “I have been with the company a long time.” We may even think the employer will change his/her mind and the job loss really will not happen.
• Stage Two: Anger. After we come to the realization that we are really going to lose our job, we may become angry. “How can they do this to me?” Often our anger can be misdirected. A common area of misdirected anger is on our families or our friends. We must be careful not to fall into this area as it is very difficult for our family and friends to handle our misdirected anger.
• Stage Three: Bargaining. We may not all go through this stage- we may bargain with God to somehow intervene to prevent this job loss from happening. We may pray for a miracle to happen that would change the overall outcome of our job loss.
• Stage Four: Depression. When the job loss is inevitable -depression may set in. Depression can come at varied stages from mild to severe. It can become so severe that we are unable to function. If this stage affects us, we should to seek professional help to deal with our depression before it overpowers us.
• The last stage is: Acceptance. A job loss may be a hard thing to accept. But we finally have to accept what has happened to us and we now have to move on with our life.
We may not all go through all these emotional stages or in this order. The stages may repeat themselves in varied fashions but we will all go through some of these feelings.
The way we cope with our job loss will be related to how we cope with life in general. Some people are very emotional about the slightest change in life, while others cope well with change.
Keeping a positive attitude often is very helpful. As for me, I can honestly say I have been blessed, “When one door closes another one opens.” It all depends on me and how I will deal with my new door of opportunity.
We may come to realize that success is usually the result of us applying a positive attitude to our life. We begin to exploring new alternatives and building relationships and focus on a meaningful new career. “Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” – Tom Stoppard
Margaret Anne Yost nursed for 35 years. I completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education at the Regina General Hospital. Returning back to school I completed classes from the Red River College in the areas of Gerontology, Bereavement, Death and Dying.
I was enrolled eight years in lay ministry training, and graduated as a (LPA) Lay Pastoral Assistant. For twelve years I worked in bereavement support at a funeral home.
At present I am employed as an Interim Parish Worker at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Melville, Sask. I also enjoy my role as homemaker and full time grandmother.
If you are grieving at this time and you would like to share your story or comment on what you have read, I may be reached at the following numbers 1-306-621-9877 (9am-5pm) or at my home 1-306-728-4744 (evenings).