Isn’t grief about death?
Death and dying are only two of many causes of grief. Grief is about how we live after being impacted by any of the 40+ significant emotional losses we can experience in a lifetime, and we are apt to grieve many of them. Check out this loss calculator to estimate your losses over a lifetime so far.
What is the difference between grief and loss?
Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss, and shows itself as a range of emotions – including those that seem to be in conflict with each other (i.e. sad and relieved, excited and nervous). Grief is not a pathological condition or a personality disorder.
Loss is a change in, or an end to, a pattern to which you have become accustomed.
Loss can be a
– minus or absence of something familiar (such as losing a beloved human or pet or money etc., or gaining an empty nest, or end to addiction) and
Loss can be a
+ plus or presence of something new (marriage, graduation, promotion, child, etc.) – all these lead to a change in a familiar pattern).
± Loss can also be explored in terms of states of being, such as loss of trust, safety, faith, health, fertility, independence, creativity (artist’s block anyone?), security, mobility, youth, etc.
Does grief affect my body? my mind? my spirit? If so, how?
Yes, on all counts. Because we are all “snowflakes” (I’m ½ Canadian I can’t help it!) grief will show up in “younique” ways. The Grief Recovery Institute’s research, based on participant feedback, shows that grief can show up as:
- a constant remembering of loss, making fond memories inaccessible
- feeling sad or crying over things that never seemed to bother you before
- being easily irritated
- confused feelings/difficulty concentrating
- fatigue/loss of energy/exhaustion
- anger, sadness, loneliness
- changes in appetite
- sleep disturbances
- difficulty in getting up and functioning after waking up
- losing a sense of trust in yourself and in others
- a lack of interest in work or other activities
- a loss of “joie de vivre” aka your mojo, your zest for life
Do any of these resonate with you?
What is unresolved grief?
Regarding a particular loss of someone or something, are there things you wish had been different, better, or more? Are there unrealized hopes, dreams, and expectations you had envisioned in your future that did not happen as expected? There are feelings tied to this unfinished business that need to see the light and then be let go, otherwise they stay stuffed inside and affect your body, mind, and spirit and weigh you down. We’ve all known people who are carrying a mountain of unfinished business from accumulated grief. Do you want to live the rest of your life being weighed down by an accumulation of unresolved grief? Let me show you another way.
What does it look like if I haven’t completed the grief cycle around a particular loss?
- If you are unwilling to express feelings about your loss(es). “I can’t go there. Let’s not talk about it ok?”
- If fond memories turn painful, you may need to complete the cycle so fond memories stay fond.
- If you want to talk only about the positive aspects of the relationship, or only the negative aspects, then you’ve got some unresolved grief to bring to completion.
- Are some of your fears about relationshipping associated with thoughts or feelings about a past relationship? For example, being unable to trust in yourself or others in a new relationship because of what happened that other time.
Is doing this Grief Recovery Method going to hurt? I’m tired of hurting… aka WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) ?
- You start to shift what you believe about communicating your sad and painful thoughts and feelings.
- You learn the ability to access and appropriately communicate your feelings in the moment you have them.
- You learn to stop letting the unattended and unfinished business of significant losses and disastrous events siphon your energy and take away your capacity to live in well-being.
- You learn to stop letting the suffering of the past overpower the fond memories that are there but can’t rise up and meet you.
Do we have to talk about feelings?
In a discussion between Brene Brown and the Nagoski Sisters, authors of Burnout, they point out that people think “we are cognitive rational beings who on occasion have an emotion and the truth of the matter is we are emotional beings who on occasion think” (Unlocking Us, October 14, 2020 timecode 13:00)
We are emotional beings. Grief is the emotional response to change. Yup. Grief invites us to get in touch with our feelings. Those of us who don’t really want to feel the feelings don’t really want to get up close to grief. So grief accumulates and waits, and you(r) heart gets heavy(r)
Learn how to get grief relief and build a new relationship to your feelings. They are one in the same.
Does the Grief Recovery Method® work for grief related to a chronic illness or terminal diagnosis?
Yes. This method offers people chance to be present with the conflicting emotions that happen at the thought of all the “differents, betters, and more ofs” being wished and hoped for and dreamt of during the day-to-day dealing of the illness. For some carers, getting grief relief and emotional respite during instead of after a beloved’s death can be a viable if not better option. Since the method serves as a lifelong skill, you can apply it as often as you need.
What does recovery mean?
- Recovery from loss is achieved by a series of small and specific choices made by the Griever.
- Recovery means acquiring the skills we should have been taught as a child; skills that allow us to deal with loss directly.
- Recovery is ﬁnding new meaning for living, without the fear of being hurt again.
- Recovery is acknowledging that it is perfectly all right to feel sad from time to time and to talk about those feelings.
IN-LIGHTEN Your Self – Start off your Grief Recovery by counting your losses.
See your losses first, then pick out the heaviest ones weighing you down, and you will be ready to lighten up.
Pick the flowy loss counter if you like to flow this way and that and draw cirlces.
Pick the linear loss counter if you like rows and columns, check and balances.
INSIGHT – See another way.
See how you may have been groomed (don’t take it personally, it happens) to feel helpless and stoic regarding your losses. Learn the way to see loss *and* feel into the resources inside that guide you through and forward.
If you want to get a grip on grief and loss, instead of them getting a grip on you.