Understanding the Grieving Process

Endings and Beginnings

Usually we associate grieving with death, but any loss can cause grief, including the loss or change in a relationship, some aspect of your health, stage of life, your job, or the abandonment of an old dream. After a significant loss, you may experience all kinds of emotions, such as shock, anger, sadness and guilt or even relief. Sometimes it may feel like the sadness will never let up. As you deal with your loss, remember that there is no order or timetable, everyone grieves differently.

Sometimes we have an experience that we never moved on from and one loss can trigger another. It’s like peeling an onion, every time we think we have gotten to the core we find another layer.

For example: when I went through my divorce and my husband walked away this triggered abandonment issues I had from childhood with my father. The old tapes starting playing in my head. Of course feelings were triggered again after feeling betrayed by my ex-husband, feelings of rejection, not being good enough, not feeling worthy of love came flooding back. Looking back I can say this process gave me the opportunity to explore and rebuke these faulty beliefs and come to a place of forgiveness and acceptance with myself and made peace with my father. Only through this ending was I able to create a new beginning. Although, this happened only later in life, I’m grateful that at least I was able to re-connect and make peace and embrace my Dad in a loving space.

The more significant the loss, the more intense waves of emotion you may feel. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. Sometimes the feelings of sadness or longing are stronger, sometimes the feelings are more like a flickering flame. This is all part of being alive, feelings come and go. Fortunately, no situation or emotion lasts forever, so we have the promise that this, too, shall pass.

The single most important factor in healing from loss is having the support from other people and learning skills to help you process your grief. Even if you aren’t comfortable talking about your feelings under normal circumstances, it’s important to express them. Sharing your loss makes the burden easier to carry. Connecting with others will help you heal.

Using and applying our resources, which are crucial life lines. Grief can be experienced in so many different ways…sometimes likened to the ‘valley of the shadow of death’, a broken heart, vast emptiness, you can feel moments of quiet and then suddenly a surge of intense emotion, feelings come and go. When I experienced intense grief I remember my senses felt dulled, the sun didn’t feel as warm, I felt numb, the flowers lost their fragrance, colors lost their vividness…my senses faded and I felt as if I would never feel the beauty of life again, but I did. Pain is transitory.

Therapy can be an anchor when you are grieving.

I am here to help and support you as you move through this transition.