This has been a tough year for a number of people. We have seen the economy move into a deep recession and jobs have been lost. Small business owners are losing their businesses that have been in their families for years. The news reports speak weekly about the people losing their homes to foreclosure. Car companies have launched programs now for consumers who have lost their jobs and may lose their vehicles.
For those still employed you may be realizing a loss of income. If you are like me you have seen your 401K and other investments loose 20%-40%. Businesses are running on the bleeding edge of being lean. In doing so some are losing key accounts.You may have seen a downsizing at your organization so you may have lost friends and associates who you have worked with for years. Loss is all around us.
In our family we lost a loved one last week. My mother-in-law passed away from a two year battle with lung cancer. ( don’t smoke!)This has been a difficult time as she lived with us over the past seven years. We watched her loss of simple things like mobility, energy, and last week we lost her.
A dear friend of ours who also happens to be a clinical psychologist sent my entire family the below stages of grieving. What it did for me personally was to quickly understand that grieving a loss is normal. Secondly, grieving is a process with stages and predictable feelings and future outcomes. Reviewing the process helped me and my family members understand what we were feeling was normal and showed us where we were in the process to help us know we will get through this. Through understanding we can grow and move on. So I wanted to share the below as it helped my family and it is my prayer it helps you with any loss you may be or have experienced.
immediately following the news, it is difficult to accept the loss. A feeling of disbelief.
During those first days there is a feeling of being-out-of-touch.
2) Emotional Release
The awareness of just how dreadful the loss is, accompanied by intense pangs of grief.
In this stage a grieving individual sleeps badly and weeps uncontrollably.
For some time a grieving person can feel in the grip of mental instability.
They can find themselves wandering around aimlessly, forgetting things, and not being able to finish what they started. Physical symptoms also can appear — tightness in the throat, heaviness in the chest, an empty feeling in the stomach, tiredness and fatigue, and headaches.
At this stage an individual can begin to feel guilty about failures to do enough, guilt over what happened or what didn’t happen.
some individuals feel anger at what “caused” the loss.
6) Inability to Resume Business-as-Usual Activities
the ability to concentrate on day-to-day activities may be severely limited.
It is important to know and recognize that this is a normal phenomenon.
A grieving person’s entire being – emotional, physical and spiritual, is focused on the loss that just occurred. Grief is a 100% experience.
7) Reconciliation of Grief
Balance in life returns little by little, much like healing from a severe physical wound.
There are no set timeframes for healing. Each individual is different. When a different focus toward the future starts taking shape.
The sharp, ever present pain of grief will lessen and hope for a continued, yet different life emerges. Plans are made for the future and the individual is able to move forward in life with good feelings knowing they will always remember and have memories
If you have experienced a loss know there is hope. It may never be the “way it used to be” but a different life will emerge. For your business it will never be the same again. Markets have changed, consumer buying patterns have changed, your team has changed, buyers have changed their buying process, and customer needs have changed.Once you reach the hope stage you will create to foundation for a new future.