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Loss Part Two: How Are We Affected?

   By: Fritz Brunner

How are we affected by Loss?

Part Two on Loss

“There is no real way to deal with everything you lose.”
Joan Didion, from an interview in the San Francisco Chronicle, January 6, 2004.

How are we affected
Who decides what a loss is and how deeply it is felt? It is up to each of us. You determine what the loss is and what it means to you.

I see four principle ways or areas of impact. These are some symptoms or indicators that we are experiencing loss.

Physically: Our body suffers. We neglect our self; we care less about and for our physical well-being. Disease and age also produce loss within and upon our bodies.

Emotionally: We may withdraw from others; not wanting to feel too much. We may lash out. Our emotions can be profoundly affected by loss.

Mentally: We may dampen down our thoughts. We may deaden our mind and avoid thinking or remembering in any number of ways. Our thoughts may turn negative, always seeing more loss in the future.

Spiritually: There may be a drawing away from beliefs long held; with a feeling that no comfort can ever come again from rituals and beliefs. There may also be a desire to find a new belief, one that takes the place of the old or fills this hole inside.

Will everyone respond the same way to loss? No, however most of us will respond in some negative or self defeating way for some period of time. If this is true, then what can any of us do to stop or minimize this

Part Three will look at how we can heal from loss.

© Fritz M. Brunner, Ph.D. 2005

Fritz M. Brunner, Ph.D. is a coach and consultant engaged in working with people wanting to excel in life and business. He also leads tele-groups focused on loss. Please visit his web site at or contact him at

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