There is one subject that everyone has to deal with in life, and that’s grief. We have life experiences, we don’t live forever, but you probably know that by now. There are so many messages, so many layers within grief, that don’t get talked about a lot, because it is a tough thing to deal with, it’s a tough thing to understand. What I’d like to do is destigmatize the fact that if you’re grieving, that there is something wrong with you. There’s actually something beautiful about you, there’s something amazing because you’re feeling a deficit of something, and you are processing it. By doing that, you are learning to love more. And if you avoid all of the pain, and frustration and all those other words that come along with the experience of grief, you can be shortchanging your own ability to love yourself and to love others.
So let’s talk about grief. There are so many different ways that grief can show up in our life, that I thought I’d cover a few of them and give you a little bit of insight into how you might learn to appreciate the process.
We all experience grief differently. How your own process through grief depends on what you were taught as a child. Were you allowed to have emotions? Did somebody even explain what was going on to in order to have some frame of reference around the pain that you’re feeling. Once we talk about it and let it come out, it dissipates. And I think that the more we discuss the fact that this is a natural part of life, this is going to happen. You can try to tuck it away and not deal with it. It’s going to come up later in something it’s going to show up in your relationships, it’s going to show up in how you treat yourself. It often shows up in health.
So we all are going to process differently. So if you have someone in your life, who doesn’t seem to be moving through grief, just have a little patience because it comes in waves, there’s different steps. And yes, there’s some wonderful information by Kubler Ross, that talks about the six stages of grief. I don’t think people realize that that was written for those who are crossing, those that are in their physical process of leaving their body. We tend to take it on as the six stages after someone’s left their body and we are left behind.
Have a little bit of patience with yourself. And with others. I realized in the grief process, that it’s helpful to let other people know, you’re not the Rock of Gibraltar, that you do have emotions. I think it is important in a grieving process is to be honest, to say that this is a human condition to experience. Aren’t we blessed to be able to feel?
I’ve used this expression in the past and it’s not the most glamorous one on the planet, but it’s kind of like vomit, you’ve got to let it come up and out. You’ve got to let it come out of your system. Because if you push it down, it’s going to have to come up and that will only affect your connection with yourself and with others. That of course, may be a therapist or coach, find someone that can be helpful to you in your processing, and be a safe place for you to allow that grief to come out. Maybe it feels too big for you and you don’t think that you can let it all go because you might not come out of it. You will. But maybe you need that safe space. Tears are salty for a reason. They cleanse. Grief does work in layers.
Put your hand on your heart, acknowledge, allow and appreciate the love that you experienced, because the deficit is there. And then move off of the idea of the deficit that it’s not there. Because if it is the case of someone passing, they’re still around. If it is the case of losing your childhood or relationship, marriage, job – you can’t heal holding on to the focus of what you lost.
This process is one that’s going to be lifetimes. If you can give yourself permission to experience and trust that you can come out of a moment of grief, it’s not doesn’t have to be a lifetime sentence. Some people do make a career out of it. But it doesn’t have to be. You find that the moments are less and less and then they’re very appropriate. I am hopeful that this helped. And I would ask that you be kind to yourself in your grief and you’d be kind to others in their grief.