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It is a characteristic of loss that it never happens in isolation from all the earlier losses of our lives. Many of these going back to our earliest years may have been shelved and only partially dealt with. The effect of a significant loss is to break free these earlier losses and cause them to rise to the surface. In so doing they complicate the grief process to the point we feel confused and may wonder exactly what or who we are grieving for. A man was unable to get over the death of his child until he felt the pain of losing his brother as an infant. A woman whose husband died seven years earlier had made no progress and felt stuck in grief until she made a connection with the death of her father when she was eleven. She had been holding on and needed to release him. Another lady whose husband had died, months later, found herself crying for their first child who was stillborn. She felt that the support of her husband had shielded her from the pain at the time, but now he was gone she felt exposed to its full reality.

Fr Jim Cogley


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