Rediscovering Wholeness: Navigating Loss and Grief
What Have You Lost?
Loss is an inevitable part of life, extending beyond the death of a loved one. At Turning Inward LLC, I understand that losses manifest in various forms—friendships, homes, jobs, innocence, and more. Grief is the emotional response to anything significant that mattered to you.
Reactions to Grief: A Unique Journey
Grief is a natural response, expressed differently in each individual. You may feel shock, sadness, relief, or a myriad of emotions. Physical symptoms such as breathlessness or appetite changes can accompany emotional responses. I recognize the uniqueness of your feelings, supporting you without judgment.
Disenfranchised Grief: A Silent Struggle
Disenfranchised grievers silently bear their loss due to societal stigma or lack of understanding. Whether it's the loss loss of a loved one due to suicide, homicide, auto-erotic asphyxiation, AIDS, loss of pregnancy, selective abortion, loss of a pet, loss of an affair or lover, loss of a life partner or significant other, these grievers often suffer in silence. I aim to create a safe space for all forms of grief, fostering understanding and healing.
Grief, Mourning, Bereavement Defined
Grief is the emotional reaction to loss
Mourning is the external demonstration of grief
Bereavement is the objective situation of having lost
The Stages of Grief Elizabeth Kübler-Ross identified five stages of grief that patients with terminal illness experience prior to death. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. With time, the “stages of grief” became popularized and widely known as the stages people experience when there has been a significant loss in their lives. Kübler-Ross’ work is credible, no doubt! The problem is the misperception that once we pass through each of the five stages, we are then healed. Not to say this doesn’t happen for some people, some of the time, but grief typically has no set linear pattern. People often describe feelings of grief as hitting them like waves in the ocean, coming and going, some smaller, some bigger, and some crashing down hard without warning.
Words that Don’t Help During Grief
They are in a better place
Heaven needed another angel
You never know when your time is up
You can get another one
You can have another one
Any statement that starts with “At least….” At least you got to see them before they died, at least you can get pregnant, at least you had a … (fill in the blank)
If you don’t know what to say to someone who is grieving, ask them what they need from you, and follow through. People don’t need more casseroles in the immediate aftermath of a loss, they need you in the subsequent weeks that follow, when life returns to normal for everyone else but them. A week or two after the funeral, ask them out for coffee or lunch.
We Can and Do Heal from Grief Each time we tell our story, a little healing takes place. Sharing time and space with another who cares about your well-being, identifying unexpressed emotions, putting words to feelings, expressing frustration or anger, and holding space to acknowledge what you’ve been through, to honor your experience and growth, is the path toward healing. At my practice you will be met with warmth, understanding, and acceptance.