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some of the typical lifetime losses that we experience:
The infant must
inevitably break the early bond formed with a parent.
Young children, to be healthy, must see themselves as
separate beings with their own sense of identity. The separation-individuation phase is the child's first introduction
to loss. If it is facilitated by a supportive parent, the child
may be able to handle future losses more adaptively.
Little babies have a special place
in the life of a family. They get lots of attention. Older
children may feel abandoned when their place in the family has been replaced by a younger sibling, and they may
show aggression toward the infant or signs of withdrawal
As we grow into teenagers, we lose
the old family bonds we have always known. We may
begin to give more attention to our friends than to our
families. Adolescence is a time of tremendous growth
with the acquisition of new social skills and life responsibilities, but it is at this time that we must necessarily say
goodbye to the play, the pleasures and the nurturance of
Friends leave - especially in our mobile
society. They move, or marry, or sometimes they just drift
away from us. The loss of a close friend, one who has
seen us through life's ups and downs, can be devastating.
We may feel that a lost friendship will never be replaced,
but our challenge is to appreciate what we had in our old
friendship, to retain our memories, and to carry our skills
into other friendships in the future.
Those who marry normally shift their
attention and allegiance from the family they grew up in
to creation of a new family. Modifying the old ties to
family and friends can create a severe crisis, but there is
a world of exciting new possibilities to replace this loss.
When parents watch their
children grow into adulthood, they lose a part of their
old sense of identity and purpose. To cling to the old
parental roles past their time is to invite conflict, yet
many endure this conflict rather than grieve their loss.