#GriefMountain: The Most Epic —Yet Universal — Climb Ever; How to Overcome Grief & Loss
August is National Grief Awareness Month which is recognized internationally in many ways. This is a time to come together and remember loved ones or other losses. We will be raising awareness throughout the month. National Grief Awareness Day is on August 30th and honors those who have suffered while teaching others the realities of bereavement.
Grief is a very personal journey. There are no short cuts. Find someone to encourage you and help you navigate through it: a life coach, counselor or therapist.
For more information, click here.
How to Overcome Grief & Loss
Can I just say: grief is bad enough all by itself? Right? Friends and family may pull back, leaving you feeling abandoned. It may seem as if you have fallen into a pit from where there is no escape. Experiencing a terrible loss and the grief that goes with it is the most concrete proof there is that you are a real, live, normal human being.
To me, grief feels like a cup of water that is full all the way up to the brim. You head out for the day, feeling good, not thinking about the loss and your self-talk is…“You’ve got this…you’re over it… move on.” Then you dash into the gym, got your game on, and suddenly you’re face-to-face with that person, and they say, “I heard about your loss; I am sooooo sorry. How are you doing?” The long pause. It is in that moment that the cup of water starts to spill over the brim. You literally feel it coming up and it’s going to spill. Your tears come. The embarrassment floods your face and you can’t find an exit.
Even worse, they keep asking you detailed questions. In an attempt to swallow your tears you mumble something as you grab your bag.
Your head is swimming with thoughts like, “Why can’t I just get over it? Why do I still react this way? It has been a long time? Is this normal?”
Here’s the deal: grief and loss are at the heart of our baggage. Yep! It’s true. We need to stop minimizing loss and start supersizing our healing to get through grief and come out the other side stronger. For real! Can I get an Amen?!
When overcoming a loss — a divorce, a move, a death, or loss of a job — we can’t escape the universal experience of loss and mourning. Major losses affect good people, not so-good people, and every one in-between. We all need to get good — or better — at grief.
How does our grief recovery go awry? How do we get stuck in grief? We have all seen it happen. Loss is bad enough all by it itself. You will make it worse if you:
Have unreasonable expectations of yourself.
Keep feelings and thoughts inside instead of talking about them.
Believe your religious faith can lessen the impact of your loss.
Assume you are the only one who has ever felt such sadness.
Believe you will always feel as you do in the first weeks.
Try to white knuckle it.
Avoid vulnerability by isolating yourself.
Ultimately, we make grieving more difficult by not taking our loss as seriously as we should. And then there’s those annoying people that give us the message, “Just get over it.” But recovering from loss is a big deal in the baggage department. It can’t be rushed.
Everyone is capable of becoming good at doing grief work. Healthy grief is not a passive experience. The loss is what happens to you. While the grief is a normal and appropriate response to loss. Grieving is something you do to heal from any loss.
You are the one person who can turn the pain of your loss into a creative experience from which you learn and grow.
Recovering from grief is not like riding the escalator at Macy’s: from bottom to top and you are done. Yes, sometimes you will be moving forward, stringing some good days together, and then you feel like you are slipping backwards. Your cup starts to spill over again.
After you spill, remember the three truths:
Tears are a sign of healing.
What you are experiencing is normal; you are not alone.
Recovering from grief takes effort, action, and a lot of time…a lot of time.
Experiencing a loss is bad enough all by itself. Nobody does grief work perfectly. It’s a time of slipping and sliding. With effort, action and time, your spills will decrease and you will recover.
Be blessed & be bold,
~We welcome your feedback in the comment section below!
Life Coach Mary Cranston is currently working on her next book, Grief Mountain, where she will take readers through the grief journey and provide practical and effective strategies for overcoming obstacles, processing loss, and moving forward.
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