Through the years, many of you have asked me to talk about grief.
It can be hard to define but what I know for sure: grief comes in waves. You never know when one will come crashing in and all you can do is follow it to its completion and let it move through you, and out. You cannot try to stop up the damn of emotion, that will only cause harm down the line.
I told you last week that I’ve done so much work on my emotional state regarding the symbolism of my garden, and while the first day of re-potting was wonderful this past weekend, the next day with the tomato plants… let’s just say I was unprepared for the explosion of sadness that followed a bout of crabbiness. I completely left present time; I was not in my body. I knew I hit a pocket of grief and the best thing to do was to ground myself (even though I really didn’t want to be in my body), and allow myself to express the sadness.
I thought I had healed everything, so it really surprised me. That’s the thing about grief, even when you’ve done massive releasing and healing of it, there might be more. And that’s totally normal! I happened to hit something I hadn’t given voice to or acknowledged, thus its appearance.
A healer friend of mine suggested that I separate out energy, like I’ve taught you all to do (on the resources page), with the aspect of me that went through the trauma. To release that me and give her back her power and call my life force back to me. That made a tremendously positive impact.
Back to grief in general- everyone grieves differently; you cannot judge yourself or another for your/their process. Some people feel sad, some angry, some irritated, and some in denial. Sometimes all of these exist simultaneously or seem to flow from one to the next, moment, by moment. This is why surrender and gentleness is key. You don’t know what’s going to surface when, so self-compassion is the name of the game.
In the midst of my grief, be it from a miscarriage or the loss of a loved one, I’ve run into bathrooms in public places to vent out whatever was surfacing and give it whatever voice it needed in that moment- a quick cry, a temper tantrum, or a moment of reverent silence. If you're somewhere where that's impossible, acknowledge and release the emotion later that day but don't ignore it; it'll come back stronger if you do.
Grief isn’t limited to losing people by the way, you can grieve whatever loss you’re experiencing: a pet, a house, a business, a dream, a brief relationship, etc. If it’s a loss, it’s valid. It’s not the years involved, but the impact.
You cannot diminish your grief and loss and think it’s not as meaningful as someone who lost their spouse of 50+ years, or a parent or child. Yes, that grief is far more intense in scope and takes infinitely more time to heal, but no matter your grief, you have a right to express it.
Be aware that grief is exhausting. I mean- can’t get out of bed at times- exhausting. You have to surrender to that and not judge yourself for it. Fatigue is part of grief.
I was once asked how to heal grief more quickly. That’s the thing, you can’t rush the process, but acknowledging and releasing the emotions helps.
What if it seems never-ending? Then reach out to a grief counselor, or a support group, or someone who can guide you on your journey and help you to process the pain. Sometimes we can’t do it alone; don’t try or expect yourself to be a superhero.
I can see and talk to dead people. I’ve helped people pass away and see the beauty that awaits them. Even with these skills, death sucks for those of us in a body. It’s painful and you want to hold those you love and talk to them in person.
You can know they’re there listening and loving you, because they are, and you can mentally understand the concept that love never dies, because it doesn’t, and still, saying goodbye is excruciatingly difficult and horribly painful.
And it’s part of life.
Ironically, if you let it, it can actually open your heart- I know, it seems like it would do the opposite, but that’s because many do close down their hearts. However, there is the ability to recognize your capacity for love and open your heart despite your pain. Not easy, but possible.
Know as well, with a major loss, the anniversaries of that event may have triggers for a long time. That’s okay too and totally normal.
Year two can be hard in different ways, so gentleness again. No, ‘I thought I was done with this!”
As I said, I feel completely healed from that old pain and a deeper hidden part got triggered. I moved through it quickly, it didn’t take days as it would’ve in the past.
Again, grief is like the ocean, it will ebb and flow. Sometimes you’ll be on a surfboard riding the waves, and sometimes you’ll crash. The key is, when you’re ready, to get on that surfboard again because I promise you this, one day you’ll ride those waves all the way to the shore and know that you’re more of your true self from having loved so deeply.
4/27/2022 10:30:36 am
Thank you for demystifying grief. My family had the “stiff upper lip” approach so I never really knew what to do with my feelings. I figured if I wasn’t sad, then I wasn’t grieving. I didn’t realize all that anger that I had was part of grief.
4/27/2022 01:01:37 pm
Beautiful! And such wonderful reminders
4/27/2022 10:58:08 pm
Thank you, Tina. I did not reaize how Grief lately has dominated my emotions. Now I see it.
4/29/2022 07:56:51 am
So well explained. Thanks so much.
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Me, Tina Germain, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!