29

January


A friend whose husband died over a year ago told me recently that she was experiencing an aspect of grief she had not been warned about. She knew she would grieve for him, but she was also grieving for the person she was when he was alive. She felt she had lost that person.

She knows she must live without him but how can she cope without the person she used to be. The loss of identity is very real and extraordinarily strong. She wanted to know how she can be anyone else but herself.

Some people say rather than letting go, you can bring the past into the present. The person she lost; the person she was; those are all things that will still be a part of my friend as she goes forward. A connection to the person she used to be may be a healthy part of moving forward.

When we lose someone, we often feel we have lost this relational sense of self. We find ourselves asking questions like, who am I if not a partner, child, brother, sister, or even a neighbour?

After both my parents died, I wondered whether I was still a daughter and questioned my identity. I still define my life into when I had parents and after I did not. I found it hard, there was no one of the older generation to defer to, no parents no aunts or uncles. I felt quite lost until I thought I would always be a daughter as I would talk to them, write to them, and include them in my life.

My friend felt that now she was not a wife but a widow; her identity changed in that way.

I want to discuss this loss of one’s own identity when through loss and grief, to include spouses, siblings, children’s, cousins, and loss to mean as well as through death, maybe illness, divorce, separation.

If you did not experience any change in identity can you share why?

Most of the literature tends to focus on grieving for the person who died, not the person who is left behind and finds their life and often themselves to be changed too.

Can you share your experiences about any loss that has caused you to question your identity and feel it has changed?

Were you prepared for the experience of grieving for the person you used to be?

Leah
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


Comments

Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 97 comments so far.


What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive

Disclaimer

Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.