A Grief Support Blog

This blog will allow you the opportunity to acquire both support and guidance after experiencing a significant loss.

Intangible Losses: Can You Have Grief if No One Died?

Loss without death grief healing from loss sadness


“I can’t be grieving. No one died.”  That’s a statement we hear a lot. Society equates grief to death and divorce only. Sadly, that limited definition can keep people stuck in a world of pain when there is a solution.  



The Grief Recovery Method can work for anyone, even if you haven’t experienced an obvious loss in the last few years.


Some losses are concrete like death, divorce and pet loss.

There are other losses that cause emotional pain, but aren’t usually recognized as losses.

We call them “Intangible losses”.

Intangible losses are things like


  • Loss of trust
  • Loss of safety
  • Loss of security
  • Loss of control
  • Loss of fertility
  • Lost hopes, dreams and expectations 


If you’ve experienced any of these then you know that just because it’s an intangible loss, doesn’t mean it isn’t painful, real or devastating.

In fact, since our society doesn't always connect these painful losses with grief, you might wonder if something is wrong with you for feeling so heartbroken.  


Let me make it clear…. There is nothing wrong with you!


Here are a few examples of intangible loss.


  • Let's say a woman spent her whole life dreaming about having children. Then one day she finds out that she is infertile. In an instant her hopes, dreams and expectations of giving birth are crushed, even though she never lost a physical child. Her heart is broken and she’s in emotional pain. 
  • What about a man that never knew his father? He may spend his whole life wondering what his father was like, what it would have been life to have a relationship with him, and if he did something that caused his father to leave? No matter what the details of that situation, he too is left with unresolved emotional pain.  
  • Then there’s the person who suffered from mental, physical, or sexual abuse or assault. They might not feel safe or secure in this world.


Feeling a loss of trust, safety, control and security can result from tragedies like 9/11, natural disasters, mistrust in government, financial changes, pandemics, and war.  It can also arise if you were a victim of sexual, mental or physical abuse. Lots of sexual cases focus on legal aspects to healing, but rarely emotional. 


Other intangible losses can be the result of your own decisions. I always thought I’d give birth to children of my own. I even had names for them. Then one day I woke up in my mid 40’s to realize that although I had an amazing career and a whole lot of fun and freedom in my younger years, I made the conscious decision to put parenting on the back burner. You bet that’s an intangible loss. 


One thing all of these intangible losses have in common is that they limit the quality of your life and capacity for happiness. 


Although these aren’t talked about often, they need to be addressed rather than be stuffed away in silence. Keeping the pain inside limits your life. 

Even if you can’t identify exactly what brought you to us that’s okay. Most people come to us thinking they will work on one thing then end up working on something totally different. We will help you decide what is limiting your life the most!


Grief group online





Allison is there a way to print the blog? I tried hitting print but other words gets meshed in the print document?

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