COVID-19 losses were far-reaching, including many losing their businesses. Learn how this kind of grief affects us and why it shouldn’t be ignored.
Grief brought on by the loss of a business is rarely talked about, but it happens quite often! This kind of tragedy can be caused by events out of our control: Two notable examples being The Great Recession of 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic shut downs in 2020—both of which snuffed the life out of thousands of businesses.
Whatever the reason, glossing over a business loss can be deeply detrimental to our emotional health. We hold a lot of grief for these losses: It’s much more than a “failed project”, and comes with layers of emotional complexities that ask for our nurturing and attention. So why do we tend to bypass business grief?
We Minimize Work Stress
Work stress is par for the course in standard American culture. It is so normalized we fail to recognize the ways in which we abuse ourselves in order to keep up with it. Long hours, upset customers, sleepless nights, calls from clients at 2am because they have access to your cell phone—we are by and large conditioned to accept a bad work/life balance as a necessary evil.
If that wasn’t bad enough, we are often rewarded for overextending ourselves, feeding fuel to the “burnout culture” fire that many companies are only just beginning to acknowledge and mitigate. Most people acquire a large bandwidth for work stress tolerance, and this makes it pretty easy to ignore grieving signs (even if you don’t mean to).
Why Losing Your Business Matters
On paper, running a personal business shares similar attributes to raising a child: You invest time, energy, and emotion to the success and development of something you envision a whole future for. You give life to a business you expect to see grow. The disintegration of this very emotional investment is a huge blow and can arrive hand-in-hand with a deluxe package of other feelings of loss such as:
- Loss of identity
- Loss of confidence
- Loss of a dream
- Loss of community status
For a lot of us, our knee-jerk reaction is to suppress and muscle through stress. In the case of losing a business, this reaction can also be a result of denial—accepting this many losses all at once is deeply overwhelming. It’s imperative to our healing to become aware of this pain and go after the heartbreak to process the grief that’s built up from these numerous losses. Sidestepping these feelings is futile—grief will always find a way to resurface.
Grief After a Business Loss
Grief is hard enough on its own to navigate. If you are having trouble facing your business grief, you are not alone. We see you, we know you’re hurting, and want to offer you a safe place to share your story and feel supported in your healing journey. Contact us today to set up a free discovery call and spend some time with us – we’re here for you.
Sharon Brubaker is a certified Life Coach and credentialed Grief Specialist who, along with her team, teaches women who are grieving how to process their thoughts and emotions. To learn more about navigating grief within the family, listen to the full podcast episode here or download my free e-Book, The Griever’s Guide, which equips you with the tools to live life after grief; because no griever should have to navigate a broken heart on their own.