Grief is a reaction to any loss. Sometimes this loss is focused on death but injuries and loss of capabilities or limbs are also a loss that many deal with daily. Losing a limb is tragic and is a loss that involves a long adaptation period. Numerous secondary losses stem from the initial trauma and pain.
Phantom pains can haunt one well after the initial accident, as well as emotional distress. The inability to do walk, or hold things, or do things prior the accident haunt the individual. Hobbies, activities and other events become cold memories of a life once was. In addition to this, one’s own self image and self esteem can be affected. Feeling less than whole and new forms of transportation or clothing may be required. These changes can cause grief and in some cases depression.
It is difficult to cope with such a loss but not impossible over time. As the grief of the loss is adjusted, one can begin to find new meaning. This does not mean, one accepts the loss as a good thing, it just means the person has incorporated this unfortunate incident into one’s life narrative and now is looking to find new ways to exist with a disability. Not just learning to make life easier through therapy, strengthening and new technology, but also seeing what other opportunities exist.
The article, “Limb Loss and Grief: 5 Coping Strategies for New Amputees” by Richard Console Jr takes a closer look at the grief of limb loss and how some can learn to cope. He states,
“Why does grief often accompany an amputation? Feelings of grief can arise from any kind of meaningful loss – and the loss of a limb certainly counts. In the case of amputation, the absent body part itself isn’t the only loss you suffer. Amputation also leads to many other kinds of losses.”
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Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four certification as a grief counselor.