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Grief and Healing; the Long Road Ahead

Grief- its a complicated thing.

At its most basic definition- Grief is our bodies natural response to a loss.

There are several emotions tied to grief; intense sadness, anger or loneliness. We are not always responsible for causing the grief we feel. Most often- it is something that happened to us, something that we witnessed, or something that we were a part of.

We can experience grief when; loosing a loved one, loosing a job, moving to a new home, having a relationship end, experiencing a chronic illness, loosing a pet, etc. We all deal with grief differently and grief can stick with us and can truly affect every part of our lives- but by understanding our emotions, taking care of ourselves, and seeking support- we can heal from the trauma and grief and move on to create the life we desire with.

Truth be told- I have recently been walking through a lot of grief/trauma in my life and its been quite the journey…. There has been a lot of tears, frustration, anger, confusion, shame and guilt. I have been ‘dealing with grief’ for so much of my life- and not actually ‘working through’ the grief. There is a difference. And now that I have learned the difference- I wanted to share that with you. Why? Because- I feel lighter, I do not feel weight down and I now see progress in my life, where there has not been progress before, and I want you to experience the same feelings too!

So- what does Grief look like?

Imagine yourself in a canoe- rowing down the river, headed towards a big destination. The sun in shining, the water is still, and You are rowing and paddling with all your might- but yet, you stay in the same place.

What is holding you back? What is weighing you down? Most likely- it has something to do with grief, as grief tends to turn into an anchor or weight in our life. There may have been traumatic events in your life that you simply ‘pushed under the surface’, and didn’t deal with. Relationships? Loss? Traumatic events? All the things you are running from, all the ‘ghosts in your closet’, they are there, holding you back.

So- How do you deal with grief?

According to doctors- there are 5 main stages of grief.

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

1. Denial- “this can not be happening to me”

Have you ever been there? Have you ever had such overwhelming news or had such a powerful event occur, that all you could think was “this can not be happening to me right now.”? Then shortly after, shock and numbness set in. Its truly our bodies first line of defense to protect us from the loss.

2. Anger- After the shock wears off- then you are faced with the real pain of the loss in your life. It doesn’t always present as anger right away- it can show through emotions such as helplessness, frustration, and can later turn to blind rage. We also tend to re-direct our anger toward other people, toward life, or even toward the thing or person that we lost.

3. Bargaining- the “what if” stage. This is where we spend our time wondering what we could have done to prevent the loss. We most often bargain to a higher power to take away the pain or give back what was lost.

4. Depression- One of the hardest stages to walk through. This is the time of healing when we begin to understand the loss and how our lives are affected because of the loss. We may experience bouts of crying, lack of appetite, sleep issues, feelings of regret, loneliness, and guilt. But, just because you experience these signs while grieving, does not mean that you have depression. However- seek professional attention if you are experiencing these signs and more, for an extended period of time.

5.Acceptance- the final stage of grief. This is when we finally accept the reality of our loss, and the fact that it can not be changed. Unfortunately, We can not get here without going through the previous 4 stages. (Although, that would be super nice and more convenient to be able to skip through the emotions of it all…) But, out bodies need the emotions to truly heal. It takes time to allow our bodies to work through the trauma of the loss. And when we allow ourselves the space to heal- that is when we can find true peace in life.

Do you find yourself in one or several of these stages? I know I have been in all of the stages at once, dependent upon the grief affliction in my life. Were you were recently faced with a loss- or maybe, you had a major loss in your past? I encourage you to step into the grief healing process. The grief that you are carrying is like a ‘big ol’ weight’ in your life, and its holding you back and weighing you down.

Pull up the ‘anchors’ of grief in you life. Get them above the surface and into your canoe. Figure out what pieces serve you, let go of what does not and walk through and recognize the healing stages of grief. I know its hard. I know it hurts. I know we also tend to run from the hard things, and keep putting them off. (Procrastination is my middle name!) And, I know you don’t want to ‘go there’.

But, by ‘going there’ you will find healing when you allow your body to work through the loss.

When you look back in a year, what is going to be more painful-

1> pulling up and dealing with the grief anchors that are holding you back?

2> staying in the same place and NEVER getting to the destination you have your eyes on/never becoming the person you were meant to be, because the grief is holding you back.

Until we face grief and work through it- we will be held captive by what we believe about it.

Pull up those anchors, friends. Walk through the healing process. The person you are today is a powerful being. You were made for so much more…. just jut think how much farther you can go, once your load is lightened! I know you can do hard things. I believe in you. And I believe in the person you were created to be. XoXo~ Natosha Mae You can't choose the hand you were dealt, But you can choose how you play the game.

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