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The Stigma of Grief


There are so many emotions that well up, surprise us and overwhelm us when we are dealing with a Loss or Major Life Change - sorrow, rage, guilt, resentment, confusion, and so much more. It is sometimes more than the psyche or spirit can bear.

And yet, we try and handle it all ourselves.

Our culture teaches us that we "shouldn't" ask for help, nor should we need to ask for help.

After each of my parents died, I needed weeks and months to recover. When a friend or mentor dies, it knocks me off my feet - quite literally. When I got the news my best friend's father had passed, my feet flew out from under me and I sat down on my kitchen floor quite suddenly. When one of my cats dies, it's usually not a good idea to try and get a straight thought out of me for a few days.....

But these don't apply to only a death. A job loss, a divorce, sudden diagnosis, moving, and so many other occurrences can trigger the grieving process.

And yet we taught not to talk about it - to just "buck up" and go forward.

Seeking help for emotional turmoil still has something of a stigma, in many families, communities, and cultures. We are told we just have to get through it, there is nothing to be done, and that Time Heals All Wounds.

Here's the thing - none of this is true. But of course we need help - of course we hurt - we are human. And when we deny this basic human emotional reality, we do a great disservice to ourselves, our families and in the case of death, to the loved one whom we have lost. It is also harmful for our health, creating mounting stress as the emotions fester and the amount of energy it takes to hold them back becomes greater. It can affect sleep, digestion, your heart, joints and muscles - and may even do permanent damage.

So what are some ways we can approach healing?

  • A support group can be a great place for feeling heard and connecting with those who have been through similar circumstances. It is so important to know that we are not alone.

  • Therapy can be an option, if you find someone who empathizes and helps you process in a healthy manner.

  • Then, a good Grief Coach can help you move forward afterwards, discussing your memories, your emotions, and helping you leave the past behind and move forward to the next step in your life.

  • And always, always, practice Self-Care. Eat, sleep, hydrate, stretch and love.

There is Healing and Life out here - come join us again. There is no shame in pain.

Give your emotions their due - but don't live in your suffering. Insist on Surviving and Thriving after grief has paid you low. Rise above and rise to all you are capable of!

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