Bereavement 'virtual loss'
'Virtual loss' and the connection to feelings of 'real time' loss
How distressing a bereavement can be in someone’s life, a human being is there one minute and can appear to be gone the next, the world keeps turning and life may seem so short...
Could this also be true for many people who are living a life online?
For many an avatar or character is given a new life in the beginning, and over time grows with the person, often from child to adult, and may have been around for many years, through the good times and the bad, and may have interacted with people all over the world, introduced many to new friends via social media, viewed and played adventures, instigated and joined in with new conversations.
What happens then, when those avatars or characters are forgotten, or indeed no longer able to be used due to accounts being hacked or closed down? A bereavement just the same, or just something to go with?
For many being a part of a social network is very important and for those people if a virtual loss was to occur this maybe as upsetting as a real time loss.
As young people are now not the only one's actively using social media, and the online network to connect, this has become a real part of life for many.
Consideration and compassion is then to be given towards the reality of social networks and online presence as being a part of someone’s story, and a loss in that area as having a somewhat similar impact to a real time loss, and something to be curious about when counselling both young and old alike.
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About Sandra Williams
I am a Transactional Analysis psychotherapist in the Burnley area
My background is NHS health care, youth work and mental health.
I specifically work with Depression, Bereavement, anxiety/disorder, stress, childhood issues, trauma.