Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Grief is a natural and normal response to loss.  When we grieve we experience a deep and poignant distress - the loss of someone we needed, wanted and expected to be with us.

All of us experience loss throughout our lifetimes.  Death of a loved one is the most obvious, but loss also comes at many of our life transitions:  growing up, moving, losing friends and pets, and even loss of ideals and deeply held beliefs.

In all of these situations, to a lesser or deeper degree we humans go through some very predictable steps in dealing with bereavement.

The first step in this process is the shock that comes with something so difficult.  In this stage we might feel numb and even sometimes an unreal sense of denial - that head shaking, 'how could this possibly be' feeling.

The next stage we go through is a deep awareness of the loss and all the repercussions connected to it.  This is the period when we can be overwhelmed by an onslaught of feelings that might include a wide spectrum from anger to sadness.

And finally we come to the time of healing and renewal or recovery.

In reality all of these stages intermix.  The sequence from that initial sense of shock, through awareness to recovery is a general pattern of bereavement, but we might still be experiencing some shock even though we are in the awareness phase.

It is important to remember that recovery is natural.  It does not signify disrespect - just the opposite, appreciating life is a tribute to our loss. 

Healing is natural to humans - we do not forget, but we do heal.

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


There is a difference between avoiding our feelings and coping with them!

We need coping strategies, not avoidance strategies!

Give yourself permission to have your own feelings!

No one else can tell you what, or how, or how long to experience what you are feeling!

Feeling - at our own pace - helps us heal.

Of course you can be sad, angry, lonely, empty, needy!  It is natural to feel these things!

And really, it's okay to correct those well-meaning people who say truly stupid, albeit well intentioned things… we've all heard them, and maybe even said them ourselves…

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