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Healing Journey & Life after Loss

Healing Journey & Life after Loss

When Death Happens

The last thing on my mind, was how would I find my life after this loss.  I didnt recognize that I was about to begin my own healing journey.  Those thoughts were  far from confused mind.  In that moment it was more important for me to find out how I could cope.  My healing journey and finding life after loss  would be part 3 in this journey of mine into grief.

The day dad died, I couldnt quite understand how outside the hospital the day was filling up with its “normal” that of “getting on with life”.  Right now, my life was anything but normal our life had stopped but everyone elses life continued.

Where was help when you needed it the most I thought.  I realized no one was coming to save us. I had to be the protector now for mum.  Up until this point it had been Dad’s job. Looking back, growing up both my parents had fiercely protected my sister and me to the point I really didn’t know how or what to do at this moment.  Dad had always been there to ask.

Figuring it out

Clearly, we weren’t prepared for what we would have to go through and face as a family or alone with our grief.  Somehow we muddled through.  We had to for there was no mentor or guide, it was a “figure it” out as you go along routine.

To begin with, there was help via the funeral folks but after that, we were very much alone.

For me, it was a struggle, I was overwhelmed by life, emotions, and feelings.  Alone, I would journey for a while until I did find help.  I was fortunate, with my nursing background I understood death but for the rest, it was my holistic friends I turned to and relied on to ease my pain.

How Others Heal

Over time I wondered, how did others heal and journey through their grief?   My quest began and would be answered only when I did my own research.  Frankly, many people didn’t.  During the search I read about people becoming stuck in their grief, pining and longing for their loved ones.  They would lose their vitality and their own lives as a result.  It was as if they too had died alongside their loved one.  This was tragic.

There were many more people like me who do eventually find their way back to life.  Their lives forever changed as they learned to adapt and grow in ways they couldn’t have expected.  Some would go on to create legacies or help others during their time of grief.

In the next group, these people grieved but got on with their lives fairly quickly after death.  Looking at their characteristics it was noted they were generally happy with their lives and their work fulfilled them.  Yes, they had deeply loved the person they lost but somehow, they didn’t lose themselves in their grief.

Death is about Finding You

It was then I recognized as I was doing my own healing work that the death itself became less about his death and more about finding me.

During our lives, there are many times we will be faced with many challenges and how to deal with them either brings you to your knees or you find a way to get up.  It is in the getting up that so many lessons are learned along the way that contributes to growth.  Life is structured this way and as humans, we are meant to be growing.  This growth then becomes one of the head and heart learning.  We need both if we are to develop wisdom and compassion.

Just knowing so many grieving a loss can lose their way or are unable to move on with their lives.  I wanted to let you know that you can heal your grief and go on to live an amazing life.

I understand first hand what it is like to lose a loved one.  This has taught me the value of empathy and compassion.  Over the years, I have developed tools designed to help and guide you.  If you recognize yourself in any of the categories described above.  Please let’s connect so I can share more about what I do.

Until then

Anne

Labels Don’t Define But Limit

Labels Don’t Define But Limit

"Too often we identify with our labels but labels limit us they are not who we truly are"

Labels Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Who you are is not defined by your name or even what you do in life for you are much more. Too often your self- worth is tightly tied to that of your work role or relationship label.

These are jigsaw parts adding color and meaning to the whole of who you think you are. You wear many roles and hats but they aren’t who you are either.

The Sum of the Whole

It’s through your roles and relationships that form the sum of your experiences that shape you.  The cycle of life continues as you grow older and change,  0ften adding new labels as you evolve into the next stage of your life.

Your name is used first to identify who you are and the clan you belong to. You become a son or daughter, sister or brother, girlfriend or boyfriend showing the world more of who you are.  Then you marry and a  new label of husband or wife is given, followed next by mother or father.

No Longer Five

I’m no longer a girl but my age puts me in the category of senior or elder but underneath I’m still me.  The same me I was at 5.  Somehow I got buried under the weight of the labels I used to define me or hide behind.  Doing so gave me a false sense of self-worth.

It isn’t until death or major loss occurs, the great equalizer and it doesn’t matter which label was used it doesn’t stop the cycle of life from occurring.  Underneath we are all too human and with any loss, grief pays a visit and stays for a while, perhaps even a long while.   It is during this time that we have an opportunity to shake off our labels as we are brought to our knees, for truly what do they matter?

A Crisis in Identity

We call out “who am I” when the label no longer fits.

A crisis in identity occurs when we allow our self-worth to be defined by labels.  It is so important that we take care not to do so as our labels can easily be taken away.

Relationships can define us but we can become lost in them.  Often meshing and melding with “others” in our lives to fit in. We do this also to be loved and feel loved.  Each time we do so another piece of us is lost.

When someone or something is taken from us we hurt, we’re upset and a temper tantrum at the injustice is thrown.  It is now we must learn how to live our lives without the person and our label attaching us.   This is your opportunity to rediscover the YOU underneath.  The one that got buried living life.

You may feel broken and worn down by this experience but there is a part of you that is always whole, is always you.  It is simply waiting to be discovered again, dusted off and brought out into the sunlight to play and to dream again.

This is how grief coaching helps you find YOU after a loss.

If you’re ready to explore – please message me and let’s talk.  Your life is waiting for you but needs your participation.

 

 

 

 

7 Areas Affected by Grief

7 Areas Affected by Grief

Grief Work Begins with Your Grief Inventory for Healing

When you understand these 7 areas your grief can affect, you’ll realize why they say grieving is hard work.  When a loss occurs such as the death of a loved one, it is expected for you to feel pain and experience intense heavy sadness.  However, there are 4 main categories with each one encompassing 2 or 3 areas within the category to give us the 7 areas.

Having this information can help you to understand why you are feeling or what experiencing is normal when a person is grieving.  There are many losses and many changes going on simultaneously.

Its no wonder you can feel so overwhelmed and at times alarmed.  Take out your journal or have a piece of paper handy and markdown any of these listed below that may apply.

Psychological

Emotions

What are you feeling?  Do you have bouts of sadness, increased anger, fearful, guilt/shame what ifs, could/should have?

Thoughts

Difficulty concentrating, forgetful, overwhelmed, confused, thinking the same thought over and over?

Feelings

Do you feel empty inside, in despair, lonely, even helpless, yearning for something but you don’t know what? 

Physical 

Body

Check-in with your body now and see if you are experiencing: low energy, general body pains, tightness in your chest or throat, dizziness, sleeplessness, digestive issues, weight gain or loss, low libido, frequent colds?

Spiritual

Are you religious, do you have strong beliefs, participate in rituals and traditions, have strong connections or are you blaming the church or the God of your understanding for allowing whatever has happened to have happened?

No faith, but have strong beliefs in life, have your own philosophy and spirituality that you can draw comfort from?

Social

Relationship

Do you have good social and family supports? Do you find yourself withdrawing or isolating from them?  Are you less social than you were? Do you prefer your own company now? Is your love relationship becoming strained with more conflicts than before? Fewer friends and family members around due to a move or the family home being sold?

Society’s Attitudes

These are the myths and beliefs, you believe to be true but have never questioned i.e., it just takes time or you never get over grief are just a couple of examples.  Do people avoid you, embarrassed because they don’t know what to say or they feel uncomfortable around you?  You share your story but they are more interested in sharing theirs.  Friends/Family or well-meaning people see you as a project in need of fixing?  They avoid you because you share your story too frequently?

Download your Grief Inventory Chart and check off the ones that are applicable to you.  I am sure you were not aware that a loss, could have such an effect on so many areas of your life?

You probably long for the time when you can tell your story without feeling the pain and have your joy of life return so you can live it to the fullest.  Just know that you can, it is a choice.  Are you ready to make a commitment to yourself and your life?  If, yes, let’s connect so you can begin your journey.

Here is my email [email protected] and looking forward to hearing from you.

Type A Paralysis

Type A Paralysis

I pulled this inspirational card today and it spoke volumes to me.  I’m the perfect example of perfectionism.  So much so I get into perfectionism paralysis!

It was no wonder that when it came my time to grieve, I’d worry if was I doing it right!

“There is no right way, I was told.  Everyone’s journey is unique and we get over our grief when we do”.

Ok, my nursing background kicked in and I thought.  I cannot imagine a doctor telling a patient that.  How helpful would that be to the person with cancer or heart disease?

No, indeed they wouldn’t, instead, they outline the prognosis and the journey they have evidence in seeing for patients with the same diagnosis.  Then they give helpful information for what they can do to help the person heal or suggest potential cures for them.  They are offering them HOPE.

This indeed is what I do, I offer, my clients Hope that they can heal their heartache and move through their grief. I offer helpful information and assist them to plan their own healing journey.

It isn’t about forgetting their loved one, or that they didn’t love them enough if they heal.  It’s about showing them what is possible when they work through their grief with guidance and support.

If you are curious about what grief coaching can do for you, please connect with me.

Healing from your grief is about moving your loved one into your heart and out of your head.

 

Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign is on to

Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign is on to

Yes, Indeed, Let’s Talk

This truly is a brilliant way to have us talking about Mental Health which affects so many and what better way to bring a topic that has been in the shadows for so long out and shed light upon it?

Let’s come together to find ways to help each other cope with depression or schizophrenia and the myriad of other symptoms our Mental Health professionals deal with daily.

One way is to talk about it so that the stigma of having a mental disorder is lessened.  There are so many people suffering because they don’t want to Talk about It out of fear and shame. Time for less judgment.

Clearly more needs to be done but this is a great way to create awareness.

Long-standing Grief & Depression

Another awareness I’d like to create is how grief can add a person to this ever-growing list for those requiring professional help.  Grief if not dealt with can result in severe depression or suicide.  It can sap a person’s life for years after the death occurred.  Grieving is a full body response weakening the immune system and causing health issues.

Not everyone grieving will end up with severe depression or with the symptoms outlined above.  However, that is yet another topic to be discussed and explored.

As science advances unlocking the knowledge to help explain why some mental health issues occur can we then take steps to help prevent the onset.

Mindfulness, breathing, exercise, walking or journaling are some of the tools being used.  Reframing and working on mindset are yet others. Eating healthy and getting more sleep.  Learning to relax and taking days off our electronic devices are just some examples of techniques being implemented or suggested.

Giving our brains a chance to daydream and take time out is another.

However, nothing is ever quite as simplistic and if you feel you grieving and have been for a while please seek professional help.

Regardless of grief, reach out to someone you know and talk to them about what you are noticing.  A simple kindness, someone to speak to can make the world of difference.

 

Please let’s talk……..

 

As a grief coach, I am available. Please Chose life and Chose you because we are all here to make a difference in someone’s life.

 

 

New Beginnings or Endings?

New Beginnings or Endings?

Happy New Year to You!

What exactly does that mean, if you are grieving it can be like nails to a chalkboard.  How can you be happy you think when your world is no longer the same without your loved one?

Perhaps you can look upon this moment, this year in a different light it’s a New Year albeit without the one you love.  It is an opportunity for you to create or chose what you’d like to experience. It is ripe with new beginnings and infinite possibilities awaiting you to try.

Hard to be Happy

Indeed when you are in mourning it is difficult to feel or even want to be happy.  Especially with your mind and thoughts being with the person you have lost.  You’re grieving.

Despite where you are, you can find moments here to feel and be happy.  Grieving is such heavy energy no wonder we find it hard to pull away from it.   However, the body does need to find balance even for a little while.  It is helpful to find something different to do or focus on.  Even if you don’t want to give it a try.  Believe me it can help. This is called daily action

Doing Something Different

With each daily action, your mind is involved in other things and your focus shifts away from your grief.  This doesn’t happen overnight.  If however you are willing to lay down your grief for a while it can help to ease your pain.

This doesn’t mean leaving your loved one behind.  It is the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that arise in grieving and its these you leave behind if you are willing?

New Beginnings

I love the opportunity new beginning bring.  As a child after a period of being naughty, I was given space to think about my behaviour.  When ready, I’d leave my room and mum and I would talk about it.  After a while, she would suggest I receive a “clean page” where I could begin again being a better person.

I would relish in this thought and savor the possibilities of keeping the page clean!  Well until next time.

Did my love of new beginnings, a clean slate begin there, who knows?  Today, they are my passions and I love guiding my clients to find their new beginnings.  This starts with a shift in mindset and then delving into the work to find themselves.  The next stage is about planning and discovering their clean page for themselves.

A New On-line Program

AI have created a program online, that will teach you just that month by month.  It is a closed group where you will receive support from the group as well as myself.

Did I keep the page clean – well possibly for a little while, mum was always ready to grant a new one.  So you see it is never too late for you to begin your new beginnings and transformation.

If you’re unsure how to – why not email me and let’s have a conversation?  [email protected]

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