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The Many Faces of Grief: J - L


Job Loss

On job loss:

Job loss grief is natural as you navigate the emotionally difficult experience of being let go. This is especially true if you have invested years at the company. For many, you are losing more than “just” a job – you are losing a way of life, an income you likely depend on, as well as co-workers you consider good friends.

While you may think you shouldn’t “grieve” the loss of a job, this could not be farther from the truth. Job loss grief is natural. After all, losing your job is among the top five life stressors a person can experience. The grieving process is very similar to the stages of grief one goes through after losing a loved one or experiencing a medical emergency. While not as catastrophic, job loss can have a big emotional effect on you. To help ease the pain, gain an understanding of the stages of grief and give yourself permission to move through each of them.

~ Impact Group



On kidnapped, featuring Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home at age 14 in June 2002. Sparking a countrywide search, Elizabeth's shocking kidnapping became a media sensation and captured the hearts and minds of the entire nation for almost a year. Held captive by a fanatic named Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, Smart was repeatedly raped, drugged and forced to endure religious rituals, until earning her freedom in March 2003. She has since become a noted activist and author, launching the Elizabeth Smart Foundation in 2011 and authoring My Story in 2013.

Several months after the kidnapping, it suddenly occurred to Mary Katherine, Elizabeth’s younger sister, that the kidnapper resembled a man who had once worked on their home as a handyman—a person who called himself Immanuel. Police discovered that Immanuel was a man named Brian David Mitchell, and in February 2003, the popular crime detective show America's Most Wanted aired his photograph in an episode.

On March 12, 2003, a passerby recognized Mitchell walking with Smart, who was veiled and wearing a wig and sunglasses. Authorities arrested Mitchell and his wife and returned Smart to her family that evening.

Remarkably, Smart managed to return to a relatively normal life shortly after rejoining her family. Only weeks after her return, she hiked with her family to the camp where Mitchell had taken her nine months before. "I felt great. I felt triumphant," she said of the experience.

"I don't think it's worth spending time in the past," she added. "It's not something I think about. If I feel like I want to [retell my story to someone], I will. But I don't have to. I don't talk about it much; I really don't care to."

Smart soon returned to the classroom and resumed her favorite activities. After graduating from high school in 2006, she enrolled at Brigham Young University to study music performance. Additionally, she became an activist on behalf of kidnapping survivors and child victims of violence and sexual abuse, recounting her inspirational story in interviews with Katie Couric and Oprah Winfrey, and eventually becoming a noted public speaker. Smart also helped to author the United States Department of Justice's 2008 handbook for kidnapping survivors, You Are Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment.

In 2009, Smart moved to Paris, France for her Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints missionary trip, a period interrupted by a return to the U.S. to testify against Mitchell. It was in Paris that she met fellow missionary Matthew Gilmour, a native of Scotland. The two married in Hawaii in February 2012 and went on to have three children together.

In 2011 the Elizabeth Smart Foundation was launched to empower children and provide resources and trauma support for victims and families. That year, Elizabeth was named a special correspondent for ABC News to report on missing persons and child abduction cases.

In October 2013, Smart released a memoir entitled My Story, highlighting the horrific ordeals that she encountered while she was kidnapped. Although the story delves into the inhumane treatment that she received from her captors, Smart wrote the book as a form of closure. "I want people to know that I'm happy in my life right now," she said to the Associated Press.

~ Biography.com Editors


Loss of health, Life transitions, Loss of religious affiliation, Loss of Self, Loss of a child, Loneliness, Lies, Lack of affection, Language death

On loss:

Michael Meade, author of Fate and Destiny, speaks of the limits that we must learn to live with, including the many losses that accumulate through life. He calls this “fate”.

“When we face our fate, we find our destiny,

which is our soul’s destination in life.

That which limits us has within it the seeds

of that which can help us transcend our limitations.

Through the exact twists of fate,

we find our own unique soul – our destiny.”

~Michael Meade, author, storyteller and mythologist

On the loss of a child:

I am often asked to describe the experience of losing a child (a parent, a partner, a dream) to try to help people who have not shared the unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, (or when you’re entering a new relationship) it’s like planning a wonderful vacation trip to Italy. You get a bunch of guide books and make all your plans. The Coliseum…. Michelangelo’s David…the gondolas of Venice. You get a book of handy phrases and learn how to say a few words in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

Finally, the time comes for your trip. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says:“Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!” you say. “Holland? I signed up for Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy!”

“I’m sorry,” she says. “There’s been a change and we’ve landed in Holland.”

“But I don’t know anything about Holland! I never thought of going to Holland! I have no idea what to do in Holland!”

What’s important is that they haven’t taken you to a terrible, ugly place full of famine, pestilence and disease. It’s just a different place.

So, you have to go out and buy a whole new set of guide books…you have to learn a whole new language…and you’ll meet a whole new bunch of people you would never have met otherwise.

Holland. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy…

But after you’ve been there for a while, and you’ve had a chance to catch your breath, you look around and begin to discover that Holland has windmills and Holland has tulips – Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going to Italy…and they’re all bragging about what a great time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I planned.” And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away. And you must accept that pain – because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But…if you spend your time mourning the fact that you never got to go to Italy, you may never be available to enjoy the very lovely, very special things about Holland.

Welcome to Holland!

~ Emily Perl Kingsley