The Grief Process
Kiana Ng Yoga
Grief is heavy, and many of us like to skip over it as quickly as possible. But here’s the thing, it serves us best to sit in its discomfort. Let me tell you why, as well as one of my favourite tools you can apply to move through it…
Grief always starts with a loss, whether it’s a death, a break up, a job loss, or even object or financial loss. Whatever it is, grief starts with an ending. It’s so easy for us to keep pushing forwards, to ignore the deep well that grief takes us into. We want to rush to the new beginning, that always comes at some point after grief, where we can feel safe and comfortable again. Because who likes to feel uncomfortable?
Here’s the thing though… By ignoring and repressing our grief, by forcing through to the other end, by not allowing ourselves space to grieve or to experience the unknown and uncomfortable place between grief and a new beginning, any change that comes after will not be sustainable. And that’s the truth. You can’t create sustainable change in your future when there’s still an unresolved past nudging at you in your present.
Many of us avoid grief because we lack the tools to get ourselves back out. Before I give you my favourite tool to try, let me tell you this – stop treating your grief like it’s something to get out of. There is nothing wrong, or weak, about experiencing grief so stop acting like you have to leave it. Let yourself sit in it for as long as is needed and without force or a rush to change it because only then will you truly be able to move forwards into your new beginning. Let yourself organically move through the different levels of grief (see image to left) and the different zones of grief (ending, neutral, beginning).
Keep reading for one of my fave tools to work through grief…
If you’re stuck in grief, here are is a great tool to practice:
Write a letter and burn it – Yes, this is very ritualistic but it does the trick. Get out your favourite journal and pen, and write about anything and everything that you feel and have not said. There’s no judgement here, so get it all out. Cry as much as you need to and let your tears stain the paper. If it helps, get 2 different colored pens and write a dialogue between you and what/who you’ve lost. It can be half a page long, or it can be 10 pages long. Grieve what you need to here and take your time. If you get stuck, that’s ok just take a deep breath and start again. There’s no right or wrong so anything that comes to your mind, write it down. A good place to start is with, “I wish…” or, “I miss…” This will help you look at the should haves and could haves that are holding you back to the past. A large part of grief is feeling the loss of what could have been, so what lost future do you have to release and let go of? Once your letter(s) are written, burn them and let it go; the weight, the sadness, the anger, the hurt, and everything else that comes with it.
After doing this, I encourage you to schedule time alone for yourself over the course of a week or so where you can retreat and sit with the new, uncomfortable place of not knowing what comes next. This can mean feelings of loss of identity, or where to go next in your life. This is the neutral zone, and through it, is a new beginning.
So if you have something to grieve, I encourage you to feel it so that you can be free to feel something else. If you want support through the process, email me and we’ll work through it together.