One woman shared that she and her husband were retired but had lost their savings in a Ponzi scheme. Now both she and her husband have returned to work; not something they pictured doing in their “retirement.”
A man in the audience said that he was facing foreclosure on his house. An unexpected loss for him, he said, in Silicon Valley’s “culture of success.”
Is it true that people can actually grieve over lost money, houses, and jobs? Yes, and here’s why: any kind of loss – any kind of loss – can trigger a grief reaction. Think back to when you lost something important to you. Maybe it was a pet, a relationship, a car, or your favorite project at work. Did you experience any of these emotions?
How about any of these thinking patterns:
• Preoccupation or rumination
Or these behaviors:
• Sleep and/or appetite disturbances
• Social withdrawal
This is just a partial list of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that are a part of the grieving process. If you remember living with some of these when you had a loss, you were likely experiencing grief.
We’re accustomed to thinking of grief as something that occurs only after a loved one dies. The problem with this is that we tend not to acknowledge our feelings as grief when we lose something other than a loved one.
So, can we really grieve over losses brought on us by the economy? Absolutely. But even in these tough times, there are ways to develop resiliency and not only bounce back, but thrive.
Still to come: The complications of financial grief, getting your bounce back.