Are you grieving the loss of a job? I certainly did. It hurt, and I miss it. If you’re honest with yourself, you are grieving too, or you did for some time after you lost your job. Most of us associate grief with death, but grief isn’t limited to the loss of a loved one.
Grief is about our feelings; it’s usually deep and painful. The loss of a job does this to us because a job is often more than just a job. We usually spend more time at work than we spend with our family or even sleeping. It’s not surprising to find that we have many good and close friendships where we worked. So, when asked what you miss about your job, the answer is almost always related to the people. Often, you’ll hear, “I miss my co-workers” or “I miss my friends.” Yet we all process and deal with grief differently whether it’s the death of a loved one or the loss of a job. There is no right way or wrong way to do it.
Some people will deny their grief. They’ll say things like, “It was only a job”, “I never really liked working there that much”, “They didn’t appreciate me”, all of which are phrases to mask that it’s impacting their life in a significant way.
Some will bury it. They will ignore and never acknowledge the loss of the job. They’ll never talk about it to anyone. It’s something they just want to move past as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, if you don’t take time to acknowledge your grief, it will hit you hard when you least expect it.
I encourage you to talk about your grief. Be honest about your feelings. Acknowledge any anger or guilt you might have. For some, the grief process will be quicker, for some it’ll take longer. The goal isn’t to get done quickly, it’s to process it, no matter how long it takes. You might use a journal to write out your thoughts or talk to a counselor. Until you get it out, you can’t really move on.
God is ready to listen too. We talk to him through prayer. Remember, no matter what you say or think, God is ready to hear it. Let Him have it. No matter how harsh your thoughts and words might be, we can’t be separated from his love, For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39. He loves you and He is here for you in your grief.
Dale Kreienkamp is the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He is a Human Resources executive and consultant who has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.