The 3 Most Devastating Kinds Of Loss (And How To Recover)

Understanding what kind of loss you’re experiencing can sometimes help you find your best self in the situation, say the authors of You Can Heal Your Heart. Especially if you use these specific affirmations.

By Louise Hay and David Kessler

1. Complicated Loss

To put it simply, complicated loss is any loss that is complicated by other factors. Most of us know that we will experience loss when a relationship naturally ends. When two people mutually agree on separation and divorce, that is an uncomplicated loss. When the death of an elderly relative happens in an expected way, after a good, long life, that is also an uncomplicated loss. How many of these are there? How often does everyone agree on endings, and how often do things end well?

Everyone’s lives are complicated, and so are their losses, of course. Losses become complicated when you don’t expect them to happen. In other words, the loss was a surprise. While you may name it, and it may well be a complicated loss, no matter how complex, the possibility for healing is always there. Let’s look at some examples of how we can change our thinking.

In a relationship, when one person wants a separation and the other doesn’t, you may want to add this to your thinking: “While I don’t understand this separation now, I will accept it as a reality so the healing can begin.”

This same thinking can be used with divorce: “I don’t believe we need to divorce, but my husband wants to (or, my wife has filed the papers). While I don’t agree with it, I do believe that we choose our own destiny, and my partner has chosen his (or hers). Everyone has a right to choose to be in a marriage or not.”

Remember that while the loss may be complicated, the healing doesn’t have to be.

2. Loss in Limbo

Here are some examples of loss in limbo. After the third break in a relationship, a couple might say, “The separation is killing us. We wish we could make this work, or finally end it for good.”

A helpful affirmation for this may be: “This separation will reveal helpful information. This relationship will grow or end in its own time.”

Wondering if there is going to be a loss can feel as bad as suffering a loss itself. Life sometimes forces you to live in limbo, not knowing if you will experience loss or not. You may have to wait several hours to hear if your loved one’s surgery went well, or days until a loved one is out of a coma. You may wait in limbo for hours, days, weeks, or even longer when a child is missing.

The families of soldiers missing-in-action are often wrenched by decades of living in limbo. And years later, those left behind still haven’t resolved their…

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