Grief can have a ripple effect across all parts of our lives, and one part that it can significantly impact is our self-esteem.
When we’re grieving, it’s not uncommon to feel a profound sense of loss not only for our loved ones but also for ourselves. We can feel totally out of sorts, and out of touch with who we are. This feeling of change and uncertainty is common, so if you’re nodding along here, you’re not alone.
We had the honour of speaking with the renowned psychotherapist and grief expert Megan Devine (aka the “grief queen”), and it was, as we expected it to be, absolutely game-changing for how we define grief and our connection to self. We love how Megan is not afraid to tell it straight and make the complex emotional terrain of loss easy to understand.
Megan broke down the impact of grief on self-esteem in a super simple way:
We’re Relational Beings:
As humans, we are inherently relational beings. Our self-concept is often shaped by how we are seen and acknowledged by others. When someone we deeply love passes away, we lose a significant part of our relational world. The connection and recognition we received from that person cease to exist, leaving a void in our self-perception.
Losing a Mirror:
The death of a loved one means losing a mirror, a reflection of our identity. Without that mirror, our self-image becomes less clear, and we start questioning who we are without that relational connection. It’s a process that can be disorienting and unsettling.
With the loss of that reverb, our sense of self undergoes a period of introspection and questioning. We may find ourselves questioning our purpose, worth, and the meaning of life itself. It’s a natural response to the profound change that grief brings.
We hope this helps, and you are not alone on this path to healing and self-discovery.
We unpack how grief impacts relationships in our book, but if you want more, Megan, listen to the full interview on the Good Mourning podcast here.
Until next time,
Sal and Im x