Something I have talked about with clients and thought about in my own life is re-experiencing loss at later points in life.
It is a widely understood thing that anniversaries can remind you of loss and can be difficult to work through. However another kind of re-experiencing loss is when you move through a transition into a new life stage:
The child who lost a parent as a teenager looks around their friends and their parents and miss the relationship they would have had: support through exams, the relationship chat, debates about curfews and leaving home.
The young adults misses advice about careers, relationships, the safe base of home, a proud parent.
The new parent misses the support and guidance but also thinks back to their start in life. This is often a difficult and emotional time if the loss or relationship was traumatic. If you are a new parent in this situation think about therapeutic support.
The grandparent looks at the support and love they can give their children with their grandchildren and wishes their parent had the same opportunity.
The same applies for different losses, other relatives or a close friend. And also for continued absence of someone, a parent who left the family or a friend who moved away. Children whose parent left them as a child can experience a similar type of powerful grief as if their parent had died.
Thinking back to to a loss that happened many many years ago can feel lonely, people may assume you have moved on or not understand the sadness or hole you feel. Talk it through with someone close, write in a journal, allow yourself to feel the emotions and then move back to the present and what you do have now. Remember that the positives you did have in that relationship with your loved one, live on in you.
What is strange is that a phenomenon that seems so obvious to me is not written about in standard grief work. If you have found anything please let me know!