Understanding loss

Loss comes in many forms. Bereavement, a relationship breakdown, losing a job, and living with a life-limiting illness, are just some of the things that can trigger a feeling of loss and sadness. It can make you question yourself and your purpose in life.


When you experience a loss that is out of your hands, you may struggle with not having a sense of control. It's natural you want to understand and tackle the uncertainty, so you can understand why something has happened, cope with what you are feeling, and know how to go forward.

Depending on the type of loss, sometimes you can go around in circles, going over what happened, trying to find answers to create some meaning for yourself, so you can move on. Accepting you might not always get the answers you require or the closure you might want can be more empowering than you realise.

In times of loss, it's very easy to get stuck in the past and forget about living in the present. Hours can pass fixating on something that has already gone and happened. Experiencing loss that is out of your control can make you feel powerless and bring up all sorts of common emotions like shock, denial, anger, fear and sadness, which can result in stress, depression and anxiety.

Ignoring your feelings or pushing them down will only result in further pain physically, emotionally and mentally, down the line. Whatever loss you are experiencing right now, and whatever feeling that is bringing up for you, try to talk to yourself with kindness and avoid going to a place of self-blame.

There is help that you can reach out for if you don't feel comfortable speaking with family and friends. Linking into support groups or finding the right counsellor can be helpful, but you need to want to help yourself to make positive change happen.

You can't change the past, or control someone else's actions or the current situation if it's out of your hands. But, you can take control of your life in the present, which might influence your future. You have the power to change your perspective and how you choose to go forward. You have the power to change the meaning of something to help you find some peace in your current situation.

Creating your own closure for whatever situation you're in - finding self-love, learning from your mistakes, and finding forgiveness where you have the capacity to want or do so - is the biggest challenge. If you can master that in times of loss, you will be on your way to finding some peace, whatever that might mean for you. 

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

- Buddha

Having someone to talk to who has no personal connection to you can help give perspective on a dilemma or problem.

I provide counselling in-person in Manchester, and online via Google Meet. Reach out to find out how I can support you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Manchester, Greater Manchester, M14
Written by Julia Kouyoumdjian, MBACP, Dip. Therapeutic counselling
Manchester, Greater Manchester, M14

Julia is a member of the BACP based in Manchester, UK. She provides clients with a warm, confidential & supportive environment where they have the space to understand themselves & build the tools to be more in control of their life. She works with grief, loss in all forms, relationship issues, depression, stress & anxiety. IG jk_counsellingforyou

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