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.
What are you feeling? Do you have bouts of sadness, increased anger, fearful, guilt/shame what ifs, could/should have?
Difficulty concentrating, forgetful, overwhelmed, confused, thinking the same thought over and over?
Do you feel empty inside, in despair, lonely, even helpless, yearning for something but you don’t know what?
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?
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?
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and looking forward to hearing from you.
Life After Death?
Yes, indeed, there is life after A death. I’m sure you were curious to know if I was going to have some conclusive evidence to share with you. I’m pretty certain there is but that is not my topic for the moment. Let me explain…….
My Life Changed
November 17, 2011, began as a regular workday just like any other. I would drive to the office, say my hellos as I settled down to work. This began by me unlocking my computer and while I was waiting, the phone rang and I answered it. I then drove to the hospital to meet mum. Then two hours later we emerged, arm in arm numb and in shock. It was that one phone call, that would forever change our lives.
Once outside into a cool, overcast November day, pausing to see the traffic on the highway speeding by. With passers-by walking and talking all going about their business. To my mind, it seemed all wrong. Then this urge to scream “STOP, don’t’ you know my dad has just died bubbled up! It was confusing, their world got to continue while ours had stopped. I would swallow hard, being British and knowing how mum hated scenes I couldn’t create a fuss. Instead, I clutched her arm and stoically marched to the car. It was in that moment that I realized no one was coming to rescue us or take charge. We were on our own.
Our life from that moment on became one of business, no time to stop or think. Just endless To Do lists, “I’ll put the kettle on” would be mum’s mantra. I can’t even recall drinking any tea, but the kettle went on regardless.
Pivotal Moment #1
On the day of the funeral, it snowed, making everything look clean and fresh. Odd I recall thinking, it is only mid-November; had snow even been in the forecast? Perhaps this was a message from dad letting me know he was Ok and not to be sad. We were entering a new beginning for us all; a fresh clean page. I certainly found it comforting and it allowed me to get through that day.
After the Funeral
There was a certain comfort in returning to work, I had my routine back. My new routine would include a daily phone call to mum to see how she was. It was after the family returned to their own lives that I began to have trouble sleeping at night. I no longer had the multiple distractions, instead, I’d awake tired and restless for the day. Eventually, I sought medical help, thinking that perhaps sleeping tablets were the answer. This visit resulted in me being placed on medical leave. I felt so guilty and wondered if there was something wrong with me. Perhaps I was losing grip on reality or even malingering? A few of my colleagues had gone back to work after their parent’s funerals and appeared to be fine.
I would later seek the help of a psychologist to help me understand what was happening to me. It was the feelings of guilt that had me looking for answers. Unfortunately, this wasn’t helpful as he couldn’t understand why I was looking for help so soon. Good question – I was looking for answers that I didn’t have questions for. I just needed guidance to help with the guilt and ease the pain. I didn’t get any there. Apparently, everyone’s grief is different and it takes time. Even the books I read didn’t help much, as they also agreed you never get over grief? Rubbish, I thought and muddled along.
It didn’t take long for anger at feeling so helpless to show up. Finally, my boss, a surgeon gave me a clue. He called to see how I was doing, when I told him, his response was ”sounds like a reactionary depression”. A lightbulb moment, if there was a name for it, others must have experienced this as well. I was normal! My healing journey continued. It seems people can get so busy with all the arrangements that there is no time to grieve. This could result in your emotions getting blocked resulting in depression.
Many months later I found a coach to help me further. A friend had recommended her, she apparently could see spirits. How could I not go to her! She did healing sessions with angels and then we would look at my core value, my needs, and my beliefs. This work helped me connect me with me. Once I had a plan in my hand I began to feel hopeful and more myself.
My Healing Journey and Pivotal Market #2
Later that year I went on a retreat with my friend who is intuitive and works with flower essence. Interesting, believing I was healing, my friend would take me deeper into my grief. It seems music and art are a good way to release any lingering or deep-seated emotions. The exercise was to relax and listen to music as I was drawing. The music she chose was jazz. My dad had loved jazz and he was an artist as well, so a fitting exercise for me for sure. How could it not work?
After a few hours, I needed to move and went for a walk by the ravine behind her house. There is a bridge to cross and you can see a small stream that eventually flows into a pond. All was peaceful and still as I walked around. I heard all this commotion on the way back and saw it was the geese honking and flapping their wings. I wasn’t sure if they were practicing for flight or deciding who would lead. As I paused to observed they all took off and flew overhead. In that moment, I asked the geese to take my grief with them. I had decided it was time to let it go and return to the land of the living. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but that was the 1st anniversary of dad’s death. What a coincidence or was it?
Life Continues – Pivotal Market #3
A few months later I decided to retire. I realized that dad was not there to be disappointed by my decision to leave a good job with a pension. That was his belief that and it had worked well for him but not so for me. I retired and 4 days later my next career found me. I would become a grief coach.
There is Life After A Death
As part of my online study course, I received free tickets to an event in LA that my mentor hosted. My daughter, living in London agreed to go with me and we would meet in LA. It was on the last day of the event, after listening to death regrets stories and doing the exercises, I made a decision. I announced to the room that I wanted to go on to do the certification program. Life indeed was too short and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. I had seen my parents put off things in their lives.
Coincidence at work again? For this would be the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s death. It felt right and that I was on the right track.
Remember when I said earlier that my world had stopped. Well, it had in a sense for that chapter in my book had come to a close. The next chapter in my new life without dad had yet to be written. Perhaps this was why I couldn’t make sense of my life. Now the next chapters were getting ready to be written.
The snow, the retreat, saying yes, was that Dad giving me comfort and helping me. I believe Yes, there is life after death and life after A death – I’m living proof of that.
Now, I am happy to say as a grief coach, I can help you find your life after a loss. If you’d like to find out more, please email email@example.com and let’s connect.