Subjected To Devastating Loss

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When subjected to devastating loss the paradox is that our grief is uniquely ours and our unique burden to bear but at the same time we’re not alone because the human condition is tragic and mandates losses of all kinds for all of us throughout the lifespan until we reach that final loss, which we all must go through sooner or later.

We bring this up not to be morbid but because it’s easy to feel completely isolated and alone, to feel picked on, to gnash our teeth about the unfairness of it all, when devastating loss strikes. There’s some emotional and psychological comfort to be found in the insight that we’re not alone at all, that the experience of profound grief cued off by devastating loss is universal.

In the purely practical sense it means that many online or in person support groups are available to join so that, pretty much regardless of what has happened, there are people going through something similar who are ready to offer consolation and solidarity.

Grief is poignantly painful and there’s no way around that. But feeling completely alone and unobserved in life, especially when we’ve been subjected to devastating loss, is not just painful but unbearable. So we have to remember that the sense of being singled out, as if we were the first people who ever had to walk the path of grief, is illusory. Grief is for everyone because loss is about changes to customary patterns of behavior and change is the unavoidable constant of life.