Loss Comes in Many Forms

By Heather Widmer, LMHC, CAP

Matthew 5:2-12
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

There’s no other way to say it, but loss is painful. When we think about loss, we most often think of an actual passing, a loss that is identified with the individual or loved one no longer being here on Earth. I’d like to point out, however, that loss comes in many forms and, often times, those losses can feel almost as significant. In fact, you are experiencing a death of some kind; one that must also be grieved.

The way our minds process grief and loss truly is interesting. I recently heard that research studies have shown through brain scans that the loss of a relationship looks the same as an addict who is experiencing withdrawal. When our brains are missing what once was, the brain will release the same chemicals that indicate a “need” for whatever that “thing” is. We miss the familiarity, the comfort, the habits and the routine that the partner, job, drug, etc provided.

Again, loss is painful. We think about the way life was, focus on the good, think about how much better life was during that time, how much more confident we were in those circumstances and how little struggle there may have been. I can also point out that believing God has a plan may be a thought that is completely out of reach, or you may even be left wondering, “Where is God in this?”

Well, let me remind you. The same God that knows the every hair on your head is the same God who knows your path and journey. He knows your heart; he knows your pain. We see Jesus promise us comfort and peace and satisfaction in Matthew 5. God sees your hurting, and not only does he promise healing, but he calls you blessed.

If you have experienced a loss of a job, are going through a new life transition, feel you’ve lost your way and are regaining a new identity after grieving an old one, have experienced a break up, have recently moved and miss your old friends and family, please reach out. Don’t neglect receiving support and guidance during a time that is new and may coincide with some loneliness and foreign feelings.