By Carrie Vittitoe

Loss is a part of life, but experiencing an emotional loss can make one’s heart feel like it is physically hurting. Licensed marriage and family therapist Brittani Hoyer says any kind of loss can lead to feelings of grief or heartbreak, including the loss of a loved one through divorce or death, the loss of a lifestyle as a result of an illness, or even the end of an addiction. Parents frequently go through little valleys of grief as their children leave one stage of life behind.

An individual who experiences the breakup of a marriage or long-term friendship may feel anger or a sense of abandonment. Brittani says while a person who loses a loved one through death may also experience anger or abandonment, they may direct their feelings at God or life or luck rather than the individual who died.

Whether a loss results from a breakup, a death, or a dramatic life change, Brittani says “support is essential, whether it be friends or family, a counselor, or medication. That’s the first thing I focus on with clients.” Someone who has experienced the death of someone close might find comfort in doing some reminiscing exercises to bring up happy memories. A person who has experienced a breakup may need to work on rebuilding her self-esteem, taking time to find out what she likes and values about herself. Eventually, individuals will work to start new traditions in their lives, and their hearts will begin to heal.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash