Updated: Mar 29, 2022
It's Okay to Feel Bad...
For my clients struggling with grief and loss, I hope you are being kind and gentle with yourself. We are going to process through this difficult time together. We will be honest about how much this sucks and normalize that we might not feel better soon. Most people need you to be "ok" because it makes THEM feel better. We will practice not doing, being, or performing; there will be no action. We will create more space for self-compassion or kindness to self. Self-compassion will help us down-regulate the threat response that makes you want to run and hide. For you to feel safe and cared for, we can't avoid the many emotions that will show up while fighting to get on the other side of this thing, and that's okay. I got you!
Grief Takes Time...A lot of time! .
A few quick reminders about the brain on "grief." First, the mind has access only to what it has learned. It cannot use what it does not know, so we must be clear about the misinformation that is often associated with this process, i.e., replace the loss, give it time, be strong for others, etc...This process means replacing incorrect information with valuable tools that will allow you to discover and complete what is unfinished between you and your loved ones.
We recognize that the truth is people don't really know what to say, so we give them grace too. We know that they are afraid of your feelings. Early on, society teaches us that having sad, painful, or negative feelings AND showing them is inappropriate. Painful emotions make people uncomfortable, and that's fine...we are just not going to take on that energy.
We Can't Pretend This Away
Grief research suggests that pain NOT allowed to be spoken or expressed turns in on itself and creates more problems. Unacknowledged and unheard pain doesn't go away. One of the reasons our culture is so messed up around grief is that we've tried to erase pain before it's had its say. We can't gloss over it; we can't pretend it away. When you have experienced a loss of any kind (romantic, social, familial, or business), it is not abnormal that the unbearable heaviness of remembering causes you to need more time for self-compassion.
Remember, grief is NOT a broken brain; it's the process of healing from a broken heart. There is NO time frame for healing. The hope is that it will get a little easier as time passes, and we will come out better and more resilient on the other side. There is a time to push yourself, and there is a time to rest. We are fiercely protecting our energy, and I hope you allow yourself time to rest.