When I came up with my workshop titles at the end of last year, I must have had an intuition that a workshop about grief would be important for 2020. This year has been a year filled with uncharted losses. The COVID 19 pandemic, social justice challenges, and economic hardships are just a few of the major traumas that we both personally and collectively are navigating. So many of us are mourning the losses of loved ones, jobs, security, or a sense of freedom and safety. These losses can feel profoundly destabilizing, and might cause us to feel trapped in the grieving process, or they feel so overwhelming that we cannot feel grief at all.
Additionally, pre-pandemic, we would be able to lean on family and friends in our lives for support and gather with others to cry, reminisce, and offer comfort. We might have attended in-person 12-Step meetings or other support groups. Social distancing presents a barrier to grieving alongside others, making it that much more challenging to navigate the complex emotions of a loss.
One of the less known elements of grief is that, often, unprocessed losses from the past resurface with a new loss. We may not realize it, but often the trigger of a current loss sends us back to an earlier trauma, and if we are unaware, we might cause more harm to ourselves and those around us because of it. While not always easy to do, if we can look at a current loss as an opportunity to heal an old wound, we can actually experience grief as transformative.
In the face of loss during these particularly challenging times, it is important to remember that you are not alone in this. While these emotions certainly feel painful, it may be reassuring to remember that grief is a normal and natural part of life. In fact, feeling grief means you are capable of feeling the loss of a person or situation that you loved. Each person’s grief journey is valid and unique, no two journeys are the same.
Finally, I am pleased to announce our newest team member, Richard Wenthen, LMSW, who has a specialty of working with grief and loss. Here is his bio and he can be reached at or (505) 395-6362 for virtual sessions.
Rebecca and I are still available to work with you on Zoom. You can also contact me at or (917) 572-8114, or Rebecca at or (646) 470-0638 to schedule a virtual session by Zoom or telephone.
Take good care!
© 2020 Valerie Simon, LCSW, TEP, CET III