Please see below selected recent loss-related change.
- In a major review of studies on heartbreak, psychologist Tiffany Field at the University of Miami pulled together findings from a host of other researchers showing that the symptoms of heartbreak resembled those of bereavement: sleep disturbance, compromised immune function, digestive problems, body aches, depression, anxiety, all the way to something called ‘broken-heart syndrome’ where the shock from loss can induce a heart attack-style episode.
- Normally, those who win at games do so because they know how to triumph, succeed and outwit others. The School of Life launched a game with a difference: those who win it are great at losing; they know all about frustration and difficulty and how, optimally, to respond to it. The game invites us to answer questions about the challenges we’ve faced (in love, work, etc.) – and rewards players for speaking with particular frankness and good humour about their lives. In a world often obsessed with success, The Loser Game gently suggests that losing isn’t some freakish anomaly, it’s an inevitable part of being human.
- According to a paper published by the Collective Psychology Project, This Too Shall Pass, this the coronavirus pandemic was the first cataclysm that many have faced - a shock to humanity’s system, especially in the developed world, that has provoked grief not only for those who have died but for the world we fear we have lost. We need, the authors argued, to reclaim the old shared habits of mourning and story-telling that were second nature to previous generations – to develop resilient narratives, just as we develop resilient supply-lines.
- There are an estimated 250,000 miscarriages in the UK alone every year, but it is not always clear why we find it so difficult to talk about something that happens so often. Miscarriage can be a lonely and isolating experience, and it is often hard to get answers to questions about possible causes. Doctors generally only undertake investigations after a third pregnancy loss and breaking the taboo of miscarriage is a challenge when people rarely get the support they feel they need.
- Many office cultures are pretty good at celebrating birthdays and new babies. But when a colleague experiences the death of a relative or friend, we usually respond with awkward silence. In When a Colleague Is Grieving, Harvard Business Review explored the challenge we face in helping coworkers return to work. They walked through three phases of grief - anger, despair, and the slow reinvestment in life - and offered guidance on being compassionate and supportive to colleagues who are in pain.
- Further reading:
- Loss can be cultural, as well as personal. The fire that tore through Brazil’s vast National Museum destroyed nearly all of its 20 million specimens. Among the items feared lost are a priceless collection of Egyptian and Andean mummies, artworks from Pompeii, a dinosaur skeleton unique to Brazil, rare records from the country’s imperial era, hundreds of audio recordings of extinct indigenous languages, millions of insect and marine specimens, and the oldest human fossil found in Latin America - a skeleton named Luzia.
- How should we grieve when someone close to us dies? Should we wail and gnash our teeth? Should we swallow our pain? Some would say there is no right answer. You feel whatever you feel, and heal however you heal, and that’s okay. But according to the ancient Stoics – those Greco-Roman philosophers making a comeback as preachers of practical wisdom in a self-help world – there is a correct answer to the question of how we should grieve. And the answer is that we shouldn’t. What’s done is done. There is nothing you can do to change the situation – so move on.
- “The people we most love do become a physical part of us, ingrained in our synapses, in the pathways where memories are created,” poet Meghan O’Rourke wrote in her memoir of losing her mother. Maria Popova recommends a collection of consolation letters by great artists, writers, and scientists ranging from Lincoln to Einstein to Turing, psychoanalyst Adam Phillips on how Darwin and Freud shaped our relationship to mortality, and Seneca on the key to resilience in the face of loss.