Releasing Grief

Health
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Types of Grief

The basic definition of grief is:

  1. Keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.
  2. A cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.

Grief on its own is a sense of lose and then the process of dealing with the hole left behind in our life.

Understand grief is a complicated emotion and multiple stage process. Many shades and types of grief exist in the human experience. Another aspect of grief is that how a person expresses sorrow and sadness are very culturally dependent. Some cultures work to subdue grief while others push it out with expansive expression and heart. When people from different backgrounds then express sorrow, the differences in the grieving processes can create conflict, which ironically can reinforce grief. Work towards being respectful of how others express and move through their loss.

The Grieving Process

Culture does try to bottle grief into a predictable process. The most common way to look at the grieving process is to see it as having five stages.

It is said we go through 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining and finally Acceptance.

While in truth this path is often followed by many people, the path can go to many other states of mind along the way. Acceptance is the last step, but the steps before can be much more complex.

The advantage of looking at the grieving process with 5 steps is that it buys a person time to go through the grieving process more patiently and with direction. A serious case of grief can last up to two years. It takes three months to process through a single serious emotional challenge. If the grieving process is muddling through 5 major emotional change states, then it’s no surprise that many people take a year to 18 months of healing when confronting a serious loss in their life. The more extreme cases of grief usually represent a time when a person has to rebuild their entire life. When I work patiently with a student through a deeper grieving process, I can usually speed the process up to 6 to 9 months but rebuilding a life by definition is never a quick process. You have to time the healing process to match the person’s power.

 

As a human being, we measure our lives against our relationships. Grief most often deals with the loss of a relationship. Since judgment represents how we measure our position in life, the grieving process includes transitional judgment changes as a person rebalances how they see and hold life after losing the relationship.

A person will only grieve when the loss represents a major component of their life’s story. Emotion is all about how we hold our stories in life. When a loss is significant enough, it scrambles a person’s emotional state. It’s fairly common that each person has a critical person or two as the cornerstone of their life’s story. Rebalancing your life and story isn’t an easy thing when losing the cornerstone of a life story.

Be patient, so you can take time to ease out from your emotional distress.

To fully release grief we have to release any judgment holding us back from healing. Sadly emotions will cause a person to hold on to judgments. Then in judgment, the grieving process will generate conflict, which again can create more grief.

How Grief Works

Be proactive in working to release judgment 

The grieving process is almost always is a tangled path to navigate.

 

Work lightly with others when helping a person grieving release their judgment. Otherwise, their emotions and judgment will lash out at you!

Work lightly with your grief, so you don’t entangle yourself into a more complicated mess of a process.

Soul Work

Healing Your Soul

Heal Grief by Taking Control of Your Story

To be a human being is to hold a story! As we change our stories in life, we will feel emotions and challenges. For example, if you fail a major test to prove your worth, you could feel anger, shame and even grief at losing the status of excelling in that practice you were tested within. Tests are more arbitrary than people realize, so to give power to an external test is to lose power in how you define and hold your own story. If we lose a person we love, we lose a co-author to our life story. Be proactive to continue and expand your story after your loss.

The strange truth is that not everyone holds to their own story. It’s pretty common for people to hold to stories given to them rather than create their own story. This means people will grieve a loss of a story, which was never their story! For instance, A parent who pushes their child to excel and then the child grieves when they don’t match to their parent’s expectation of achievement!

Avoidance of personal power is a more complicated aspect of working with grief. In helping others, I am helping a person retake control of their life story. Since some people don’t want to be in control of their story, they can use grief as a tool to avoid working on their story.

You cannot force a person to take control of their life story, in fact, to do so will cause them to retract out from their life.  Sometimes you have to walk a person gently back on track for their life.

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Knowing your Essence
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Hi Casey, I’ve been looking over your site the past few days which got me thinking about memories and stories and how to be kind to myself following my cats sudden death a month ago. I just watched your video today with Nora and Rosie and genuinely smiled from my heart for the first time in a while, it felt rather apt that your cats are the stars of the show as mine is the shining star of my life. I’m not talking about Oscar in the past tense as although he has died my feelings for him are not… Read more »

Thanks for your kind words Casey. I have felt judgement for wanting to do little things like light a candle for Oscar and take care of the few possessions we have kept which I call ‘Oscies things’. I know he doesn’t need them now but it feels right to treat them with respect as his chi is in them. Today I had some time to myself, I was going through his few things (some toys and his brush and some of his beautiful whiskers I used to find around the flat when he molted them) and wrapping them up with… Read more »

I was taken through a grieving process ( by a life coach / shaman ) after 25yrs of suffferiing from a serious form of depression brought on by a number of issues… So when I say I know what your saying, I now feel a deep understanding of this parasite that feeds off a persons personal energy…. love your short film and it’s clarity, sending a big thank you from Wales. U.K…. Mark.

Wow Mark I don’t know you but Iv just stumbled onto your comment. I too have been experiencing a very difficult struggle all throughout my life, losing my father aged 13, ideas unable to cope with such a loss and i did not feel the pain at all it has never hit me. I’m 38 now and my life is in such a mess… Unresolved grief disorder or complicated grief or some have labelled it complex PTSD I have also used cannabis for a long time it latched onto me and became my coping mechanism subconsciously. 24yrs ago I lost… Read more »

I have a very big problem. To me, grief is a natural process, therefore somebody, who is grieving is already healthy. I do not view this grief as a problem, but as something, over which it is ok and typical to show one’s discomfort. The things, that bother me are direct and simple: not the 1 day on a battlefield with all its terrors, but the 10 years on the training camp with all its role assignments. Not the 10 years of hardship and growth, but the 10 years under the mask, that “this is good for me” with all… Read more »

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