We are human beings. We are in a constant state of flux and change, and with that, we may experience a tremendous amount of loss. Death loss is the one that is most validated. However, death loss, is not the only loss one can experience in this lifetime. In fact, according to the Holmes-Rahe Inventory, there are over 40 plus events in life that can produce feelings of grief and loss. Some of those being: Major Health Changes, Financial Changes (a decrease and even an increase in wealth), Getting Married, Getting Divorced, Loss of a Friendship, Death of a Pet, Starting or Ending of School, Empty Nest, Retirement, and when working with grief clients, I find many losses start off in the home…..Loss of Trust, Loss of Sense of Safety.
The question is: If we know this, through the centuries, why is it we are so ill equipped to recover from grief? Oh sure, as children we soak in the way our well-meaning parents or elders “deal” with grief. Unfortunately, they were not given the tools either. The myth that I learned growing up, for how to approach loss was, “be strong for others” aka, “never let them see you sweat or cry”, “put your big girl panties on” and “be strong like a bull”. So, with being armed with this myth, I forged ahead in the face of loss and to be honest, it really wasn’t helpful, it just covered it up or buried it deeper. Other common myths that come up that may or may not resonate with you are: Don’t Feel Bad, Replace the Loss, Grieve Alone, Just Takes Time, Be Strong for Others and Keep Busy. Trying to solve grief with these belief systems is like painting a house with a hammer and nails. They are just not the right tools for the job.
A few years ago, I stumbled upon a 35 plus year old, evidence-informed approach to helping healing our broken hearts called, The Grief Recovery Method. It was educational, action-oriented and transformative (to put it mildly). It felt as if I was walking around with a backpack of rocks on my back and I didn’t even know it until I finally learned the correct method to tend to my broken heart. After going through the method, I was trained at first as a specialist and then, did further study to become an Advanced Grief Specialist and so very grateful to be offering services at Olive Branch Therapy Group with one on one interactions or in a group setting.
If you are ready to learn the actions that allow you to let go of the pain following loss, I am more than ready and able to with you on this journey to help. It is never too early to heal nor is it ever too late.
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About the author Sharon Coyle-Saeed, LSW is a children, teens, young adults and adults. Sharon specialties include anxiety, life transitions, depression, trauma, chronic illness and grief. If you are interested in working with Sharon, contact us via email, phone or chat on our website.