Grieving Positive Change

The subject of this post sounds pretty counter-intuitive, right?
If something changes in a positive direction wouldn't that mean that we are happy and grief is no where in sight?

It may surprise you, but we can experience grief not only over a loss of something we loved, but with a positive change towards our futures. As we are growing and "losing" a stage of life, we can find ourselves mourning who we once were but will no longer be.

As a teenager, you may be counting down the days to get your driver's license and all the freedom that comes with that but once you start taking yourself to school you realize that each day you are actually missing that special one-on-one time with your Dad that you once had when he would drop you off and pick you up.

You may be a parent who has raised your child to be independent and fly out of the nest, but when you drop them off for college and they are equipped to handle the world on their own you can experience a twinge of pain knowing they will never again be your young, dependent baby bird.

As you get a promotion at work, you can be equally as excited about the new salary and notoriety, but at the same time realize you miss the lower pressure and anonymity that your previous position granted you.

How can we handle these types of grief as we are mourning and celebrating in the exact same breath?

5 Tips to Handle Grief Over Positive Change:

1.     Allow yourself to feel the complex emotions of being human. Sometimes, you jump back and forth between a dichotomy of feelings… and that is okay.
2.     Don't judge your situation as all "bad" or all "good." Give space knowing that it can be both/and.
3.     Celebrate the change! As we grow, there are so many things to be excited about that are right around the corner.
4.     Grieve the loss! Look back and cherish the moments you once had, even if they are just to be in your memories.
5.     Know that even though you cannot go back to the past, it is always a part of your legacy and your story -- and remember, one day you may be looking back in this exact season wishing you soaked it in more!

Change can come up unexpectedly and be a confusing thing to navigate. My door is always open and you can feel free to reach out to me for an appointment. You can either email me at or call my office at (310) 614-0323.