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Grief & Loss

Disappointment, heartbreak, betrayal, and death are the big four when it comes to loss and grief. Each of these is related and connected to this idea of loss.

Yet, each of these is typically responded to with differing magnitudes of grief. This spectrum of loss can be examined on a macro and micro level. For instance, you can be disappointed that your favorite candy just recently sold out, and you could also be disappointed in the fact that you missed a big opportunity at work to the point where it feels like heartbreak. Each of these varying levels of loss requires a unique grief process.

Disappointment is on the left side of the spectrum when it comes to loss. This is not to diminish the pain of disappointment, but rather to help conceptualize how loss transforms given its magnitude. Disappointment is when an expectation or hope is not met. This happens to us daily and constantly throughout our day. Our prefrontal cortex is designed to anticipate the future. However, it is not 100% reliable. Also, our hopes can be disillusioned by our desires. We often want things that our minds tell us might be good. Then when we get them, we may realize it wasn't all that much worth desiring.

This is typically what happens when we experience heartbreak. The feeling of heartbreak is nothing short of a letdown. We desire something, a person, or an outcome. When that person or outcome is wiped away, we feel the loss of an attachment that was once so deeply rooted in our identity. That loss of identity is the feeling of heartbreak. Hence, the acknowledgment of one's own heart breaking within itself.

Betrayal can often encompass heartbreak, and it is not often that one experiences betrayal without heartbreak. The distinction here is that while heartbreak involves one's own loss in a sense of identity, betrayal involves both the loss of one's own identity, but also the loss of another person's identity. Effectively, the person you thought they were is no longer that person as you saw them. The image you once had of them is now lost, and who you believed you were in a relationship with—is now distorted. Betrayal is also marked by the loss of trust.

Finally, death... We must discuss the loss of death as the pinnacle of loss. While each of these magnitudes of loss encompasses the others, death is unique in that it extinguishes hope. Death is loss, but it is also an ending. You can regain trust, mend a broken heart, and eat your favorite candy another day, but you cannot bring the dead back to life. Death is a disappointment; it is heartbreaking and can feel like betrayal. In death, the identity of another is vanquished, and for you, your life, and your identity is forever changed.

Whether it be death or disappointment, it is imperative, crucial, and necessary to grieve these losses. Without grieving, we remain stuck in time, stagnant in a downward spiral that can lead us to our very lowest point. Grieving your loss helps you move in the right direction - upward toward a new vision for your life, a new hope, a new reality that has the potential to be even more desirable and pleasurable than the former. This new reality is impossible to discover without first processing your grief.

The good news is you don't have to do this alone. A mental health and wellness professional could be your first step in healing from your loss, facing your grief, and creating a vision of what your life could be in the future. You deserve that opportunity.

If you are unsure where to start or how to start this process, reach out for counseling services. We are here to help!

To book our counseling and coaching services visit:


Sam Nabil is the founder of Naya Clinics and is a Cincinnati therapist and a Cincinnati Marriage Counselor.

Sam offers therapy in Cincinnati and Cincinnati Marriage Counseling for adults suffering from relationship challenges, life transitions and anxiety.

Sam was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English And Cornell university , Yahoo News, USA Today,,

Naya Clinics is a top-rated Marriage Counseling, therapy and Life coaching practice.

Naya Clinics offers Marriage Counselors near me, individual therapy near me, and life coaching near me in various locations across the USA and the world.

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