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Grieving the loss of a work identity

A recent conversation with a 67-year-old friend who found herself unexpectedly retired by a job elimination brought home a grief we often fail to acknowledge: the loss of our work friends.

“I used to talk to these people several times a day,” my friend said. “Now, I don’t talk to them at all.” When I asked if she’d considered reaching out to say hello, she shrugged. “I don’t see the point. We don’t really have anything to talk about anymore,” she replied.

The combination of losses — her job, her work friends, her daily flow of conversation — was doing a number on my friend’s head.

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