Living With Loss Can Be an Isolating Experience
On October 7, 2015, before the sun had risen at home in Canada, I was awoken by a phone call during which I learned one of my dearest friends had died. Jacob had been a schoolmate at my junior college in Singapore. I’d been drawn to his gargantuan personality, impeccable baking skills and love for his pals. At 25, his heart had suddenly stopped beating.
While friends in Singapore planned for the wake and how best to support his family, I haplessly apologized for not being able to afford a flight back. I felt numb but somehow still functional. I’d dealt with loss in my family before, but Jacob’s death was unique: he was the first out of my chosen family of friends to die. All of us shared the sense of immense loss, but I felt alone in my struggle with it, because I was miles away from the rest of the group.
The fact is, while grief itself might be universal, living with loss tends to isolate more than it unites and can make you unsure about how to process your feelings. Thankfully, bereavement professionals offer insights that can help us come to terms with loss.
To learn what people in grief need most, read This Powerful Story Will Convince You to Stop Saying “Let Me Know If You Need Anything.”