By Dr. Ava Ghasemi, April 12, 2020
We hear and read about loss of life on a daily basis due to Covid-19 and we are worried about our own family and friends’ well-being. We are also facing other forms of loss. Frequent visitors in my sessions with my clients have been unemployment, financial loss, loss of physical contact, loss of fun and play, and loss of purpose. Pain, loss, grief and trauma are themes I frequently sit with. But when we are in crisis, once the storm has passed, once we can catch a breath, an opportunity slowly arises, to set aside all that does not matter and to find meaning in the things that do. Yes! Meaning.
You may have heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Kübler-Ross, E., 1969). Well, a sixth stage of grief was introduced by grief expert David Kessler and that is “meaning making.” (Kessler, D., 2005)
In this podcast, bestselling author and vulnerability researcher Dr. Brene Brown speaks to David Kessler about grief and loss.
My favorite part of the podcast was “your loss is always the worst loss,” so there is no point in comparing your suffering to anyone else’s. Have you ever thought that your pain is not worthy of mentioning because you thought “I should be grateful, what is wrong with me? At least I’m not like so and so, I can’t complain really”? Or have you thought the opposite way: “So and so have it so much easier than I do. No one gets how hard this is for me”? This kind of comparing, only makes us feel disconnected and the perceived isolation (“them versus me”) causes more suffering. For more on this topic, listen and you may find some good insights on coping with your own losses.
Dr. Ava Ghasemi is a Clinical Psychologist at the MapleTree Center in Dubai where she has been living since 2014.