The TIME Approach to Grief Support (BOOK EXCERPT, PT 13)
The Book Stop Blog is featuring excerpts from The TIME Approach to Grief Support by Edmund Ng and WinePress Publishing.
Hearing our assurance that what they are going through is normal will be very comforting to them, and there is tremendous therapeutic value in it.
Life is a combination of gains and losses. According to Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything.” Everyone will suffer a loss at one time or another—particularly because growth is the result of change, and change involves some degree of loss of the way things were. If we have nothing to lose, then we have nothing at all!
Our losses can take the form of deprivation, depletion, or privation. In brief, some broad categories of losses are as follows:
- Developmental losses: A baby leaving the mother’s womb, a child leaving parents to enter school, and a young adult leaving home to go to college and then to work, all constitute developmental losses. These losses are part of the natural process of growing up and eventually of death.
- Tangible losses: Tangible losses refer to the deprivation, depletion, or privation of something physical—the death of a loved one; the loss of one’s job; a stolen car; an amputated body part; or destroyed business, wealth, investments, or properties.
- Intangible losses: Intangible losses are psychosocial, and they include relational losses (e.g., a separation or divorce), functional losses (e.g., loss of memory), intrapsychic losses (e.g., discovering one’s spouse is homosexual), or role losses (e.g., losing custody of a child).
- Secondary losses: The primary loss of a loved one initiates secondary losses. For example, a widow suffers secondary losses, like the loss of financial security, status, shared dreams for the future, a social partner and best friend, and so on.
- According to Therese Rando, most people don’t identify their losses separately. They don’t break them down and grieve for each one. This will make their grief more intense, and the recovery process is hence delayed.
- Although this book deals with grief over the death of a loved one, the same grief counseling principles are applicable in extending comfort and care to those grieving over things in the other categories of losses. These include economic, health, and relational losses.
The first excerpt in the series: