15 Things That Are Totally Normal To Grieve (That No One Talks About)

15 Things That Are Totally Normal To Grieve (That No One Talks About)

When we talk about grief, we usually think in terms of losing a person in our lives, like a parent. But, it’s possible to grieve many different things. As author Marisa Renee Lee writes, “Grief is the pain that arises when a future we once counted on is no longer available to us.” With that in mind, it’s time to normalize these 15 types of grief. Instead of feeling the pressure to snap out of your feelings, allow yourself to mourn the loss.

1. The grief of losing a pet

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There’s no doubt that losing a dog or cat can be a deeply emotional experience for many people. Pets become beloved fur babies, members of the family who provide unconditional love, comfort, and companionship. When pets die, people grieve them as well as the routines and memories associated with their presence. Pets bring so much joy and laughter to the home daily, enriching our lives in countless ways. So, when they’re no longer there, it’s normal to experience a huge loss and feel lonely.

2. The grief of childhood being over

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Childhood is a time of innocence and wonder. As we grow up and life becomes more serious, we might find ourselves feeling strong nostalgia for those carefree days of the past when our lives were filled with imagination, freedom, and fun—even if we didn’t appreciate them in our hurry to hit adulthood. By acknowledging the significance of this loss, we can reflect on our lives and honor those wonderful childhood memories that shaped us.

3. The grief of losing privacy or personal space

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While it might sound strange to say that you can mourn a loss of privacy or personal space in your life, think about it in terms of living arrangements. When you move into a different home with a new romantic partner, you might feel like you no longer have complete privacy like you did when you were single and living on your own. Or, you might miss the days when you could do whatever you wished with the space in your home, down to how you decorate it. Similarly, you might feel like you have to sacrifice some of your solitude, which can be difficult to get used to.

4. The grief over changes in appearance

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Whether due to aging or lifestyle changes, seeing visible evidence of how you’ve changed when you look in the mirror could trigger feelings associated with grief and loss for many people. You might grieve the days when you didn’t have wrinkles/cellulite/grey hair. It doesn’t help that society places lots of emphasis on people’s physical appearance, raising complex emotions related to self-worth and identity. Self-love and body positivity can help turn that grief into acceptance.

5. The grief of losing your single life

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Transitioning from single life to a committed relationship can evoke feelings of loss for some people. Although entering a relationship can bring love and joy, it also requires considerable compromise and sacrifice. You have to make adjustments to your lifestyle and freedom in order for your relationship to work—that’s not always easy. And, when you see your single friends having more time for their personal aspirations and experiencing less stress about relationships, you might feel envious.

6. The grief of a friendship ending

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Friendships are vital relationships that provide support and shared experiences. If you have to end a friendship, maybe because of conflict or changes in priorities, it can cause feelings of sadness and grief. It’s totally valid to mourn the loss of the trust and connection you once shared with a friend. In some cases, the loss of a friendship can be even more stressful than a romantic relationship, especially if that friend offered unconditional love and empathy during your darkest days.

7. The grief of ending a book or TV show

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Although someone might laugh when you tell them how depressed you’re feeling after reaching the end of an amazing novel or TV show, this is something we should normalize! Books and TV shows have the power to captivate the imagination, transporting us to a different world and offering us an escape from our stresses. We might become emotionally invested in the shows or books we love, immersing ourselves in the characters’ lives. Therefore, it’s only natural that we might feel like there’s a void when they come to an end.

8. The grief of not getting closure

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When you end a relationship, it can be traumatic and earth-shattering, so much so, you might feel the need to get closure. Without that closure though, you’re left with unresolved feelings and unanswered questions, which can cause emotional turmoil and stress. You might find yourself grieving because you never got those answers, and that is totally valid.

9. The grief of missing your previous home

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Moving to a new home can be exciting but also emotionally challenging. You’re leaving behind a house filled with memories and experiences from an era in your life, which can evoke nostalgia and sadness. It’s not so much about the four walls inside the home, but the life that was lived in them that can lead to bittersweet and difficult feelings. Moving to a new house also represents a transition to the unknown, with new opportunities and experiences waiting on the other side. While it’s full of potential, it also involves leaving behind things that feel familiar and safe.

10. The grief of losing the “one that got away”

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Many people who look back on their relationship résumé might have one ex or crush who left them with thoughts, like “What if things had been different?” While it might appear childish to people who don’t understand it, mourning the loss of the “one that got away” can be heartbreaking. You’re grieving a romantic opportunity that you never got to experience with someone special. It’s frustrating now knowing what could have been.

11. The grief of a celebrity death

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When you hear on the news that your favorite celebrity has passed away, it can be heartbreaking. Maybe they made you learn something new about yourself or life, or their rags-to-riches story has encouraged you to chase your wildest dreams. Celebrity deaths can sometimes serve as reminders of our own mortality and the fragility of life. So, when someone we admire passes away, it confronts us with the reality of death and makes us reflect on our own existence.

12. The grief of losing your previous self

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Grieving the loss of who you were in the past is an emotional process of mourning what’s changed over time. Even if the change has been positive, like if you’ve become a parent, you might still feel sad for the person you were before. Life transitions, such as moving to a new city or experiencing a major life event, can prompt you to reassess your values, goals, and priorities. These changes require you to bid farewell to aspects of your previous self that no longer align with your aspirations, which isn’t always easy.

13. The grief of losing a dream

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Dreams represent deeply held desires and aspirations that you invest lots of time and energy into achieving. Sometimes, though, you have to let go of your dreams. For example, you might have to lose your dream of becoming a soccer star or ballet dancer due to injury or getting older. Similarly, you might push aside your dreams of starting a band or becoming a famous musician because of other life responsibilities that take over, such as parenthood. It’s normal to grieve the loss of a dream, especially if you struggle to find a new one.

14. The grief of the “struggle years” being over

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The “struggle years” are the years you work hard to achieve your aspirations. They’re filled with hard work, sweat, and tears. And yet, once you’ve crossed the finish line and gained success, you might find that those years of struggling and hustling are the ones you remember with the most fondness. Perhaps, this is because the destination isn’t always as exciting as the journey. In addition, those struggle years are often marked by significant milestones and learning opportunities that only happen once. It’s natural to want to look back on them with pride, satisfaction, and nostalgia.

15. The grief of a missed opportunity

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Maybe you had the chance to achieve a goal or grab an amazing life experience by the horns but you couldn’t take it. Perhaps you turned down a job in a different state or you said “no” to traveling during a gap year. You might look back on the opportunity with feelings of regret, anger, and frustration directed toward yourself or external circumstances.

16. Fed up with feeling alone? Attract love by changing your mindset.

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With our sister site Sweetn‘s simple quiz and mind tools, love is closer than you think. They’ll give you the tools and skills you need to transform the way you date and shift your energy to help you find lasting love. It only takes a few minutes to get started, so check it out here.

Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.
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