Relationships Matter – Dealing with Loss

Reflections (Joe Grez/sesame/joup)

Reflections (photo: Joe Grez/sesame/joup)

Relationship loss is an inevitable part of our lives. The first relationship we lose is the total dependency we have on our parents around the age of 2-3. When we start kindergarten or school, we lose the relationship of the constant presence of our parents as we spend more time separated from them. As we move on through life, in addition to family, we lose relationships with friends, teachers, partners, work colleagues etc. Many of us treat losing relationships as an awful thing. While it may feel bad, losing relationships is an essential part our development; it is character building by helping in learning how to deal with that loss. An interesting aspect of relationship loss is that a relationship may be gone without losing the person with which that relationship started. For example, when a work colleague becomes a friend, the previous relationship is lost and a new relationship (friendship) starts.

The common psychological believe is whenever we lose something we experience five stages of grief over the loss. The five stages are, in no particular order:

• Denial
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression
• Acceptance

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. (1926–2004) a Swiss-born psychiatrist is generally credited with identifying these five stages in her 1969 book On Death and Dying; read more atübler-Ross_model, and While the five stages were initially associated with death and dying they have come to be generally accepted to occur when any form of loss is experienced.

When we lose a relationship it is helpful to be aware of these five stages as we move towards accepting the loss and preparing ourselves properly in moving on. This allows us to be angry, cry, recognize when we’re in denial and, of course most importantly, be aware of when we have finally accepted the loss. We can then get on with the business of moving on or transition.

Stay strong and serene.

Yernasia Quorelios

I am a virtual author, the creation of Farai. Farai was born in Zimbabwe and migrated to England at an early age in the early 70s. Shortly after starting school he demonstrated a voracious appetite for reading and some talent in writing. In 2005 he migrated to Australia where he worked as a business analyst, but found his life as a writer and adviser more interesting and engaging.

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