One of the things that increases the risk of severe grief is trauma — trauma because of the suddenness of the loss, trauma resulting from witnessing a loved one’s suffering. The grief that we are seeing because of COVID-19 in many ways is traumatic grief. So that’s a starting point.
And then that grief is compounded by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Not being able to be with a loved one who is ill, being miles away, or even on the other side of a glass enclosure. The inability to comfort, to hold someone's hand is terrible. And it adds not only to the pain of the dying, but the pain of grief—because how can you not feel guilty? How can you not feel like you’ve failed in the one final gift we all want to give to someone we love?
ADEC (Association for Death Education and Counseling) in Conversation: Coronavirus 2019
How to be a grief rebel and be the one at the table that suggests we first go around and name one thing we are grieving. Then do another round of naming what we are grateful for.
My hypothesis with this tiny experiment is that the two will be intrinsically linked.
Here, I’ll give you a few examples…
I’m grieving my young eyeballs. I just ordered my first official pair of progressive lenses. I miss being able to see without wearing any kind of glasses. I miss being able to see close up – to read small writing and to see the beautiful details of all my friend’s faces.
AND, I’m so grateful that I even can see still at all. I’m so grateful I live in a time where I can get progressive lenses and that I have the ability to pay for them.
See, you see how linked they are?
I am still grieving, and will continue to do so, for my husbands able body and how easy it was to do anything together before his accident.
AND I’m grateful for my able body and all the amazing things it does for me such as simply getting out of bed, picking my nose and pooping.
Okay, your turn....
What would it be like to host a small gathering where the focus was to simply give space to grief. What if you invited it in like a revered guest? What if you gave it a voice and let it be witnessed and heard?
As I write those words, I notice my own nervous system settle in and relax. We work so hard in this western culture to stuff grief away, stuff it down and hide it. We spend so much energy looking as if we are fine, when indeed we are not.
Grief needs two things – containment and release. Containment is an adequate holding space. We simply cannot do that by ourselves. And in this western culture we are experts at keeping our grief to ourselves – we privatize grief. When we privatize grief, we don’t adequately release it.
What would happen if we allowed grief a space at the dinner table, or a space on the dance floor, or a space in line at the grocery store, or a space at the party? Oh, what if we intentionally had a Sorrow Party?
Here’s directions to host your own Sorrow Party: (you can do this on zoom as well)
-Let your peeps know that this will be a time to allow their grief to be seen, heard, witnessed. -Keep it smallish, so 8-10 peeps max, so everyone can be heard. -Invite them over for a simple meal. -Invite your closest dearest friends and/or some of your newest friends, or you could branch out and invite your co-workers, acquaintances, or neighbors. -If you are lucky to have them, invite a child or a teen to join your circle too. Allow the younger ones to come and go as they please. (Can you imagine a child growing up knowing we aired and shared our grief together?!) -Let it be a potluck but an easy one. -Suggest that people simply bring something from their fridge or pantry-a jar of olives, a box of crackers, remnants of cheese, half a loaf of bread. In other words-bring what you already have. -If they don’t have any food to bring, let them simply come anyways. -Put the kettle on and offer tea as guests arrive. -Gather in a circle on the floor, your living room or around a table. -Have someone begin the first round by naming something they are grieving and then go clockwise/counter clockwise around the circle. -After they speak, you may simply say thank you. If they want feedback or advice, ask them later, the point of this first round is to give grief the space it has been craving – to be seen, heard, and witnessed by others. -Then go around a second time and give them a choice to either name something else they are grieving or to name something they are grateful for. -Go around as many times as you need or there is time for. -After everyone has spoken, then share the food together and simply delight in socializing and sharing a meal together.
Grief because of missed opportunities Grief of loosing a loved one to death Brake up grief Grief of the lack of nurichment and attunement that you didn't get enough of as a child Pandemic grief Political grief Racial grief Environmental grief ( earthquakes, bushfires, pollution ect) Grief of loosing connections to friends Grief of loosing your job Ect
Grief is personal and it should never be made wrong
Does grief affect the lungs? If that exchange is blocked emotionally by grief and sadness, it affects the smooth action of the lungs. When someone is sad, they hold their breath and oxygen is decreased. The emotional blockage of not letting go and the symptom of grief affects the receiving and letting go action of the lungs.
Talking about your own mortality or that of a loved one can feel intrusive, uncomfortable, and even a little superstitious. Yet, the avoidance of explicitly talking about death leaves us unprepared for the event itself. In this workshop, we’ll explore why talking about death is talking about life —hopes, fears, uncertainty, imagination, legacy, connection, responsibility, love—and why it’s a conversation that shouldn’t be avoided.
I’ll be discussing this month’s newsletter: What Death Can Teach Us About Life
I accept sadness and grief as part of life. These feelings come and go, and it is okay when they come to visit :-) What may be different for me than the average person is that I prefer to share my feelings with art rather than friends, at least at first. I love music, and expressing my feelings in dance. Reading and watching films allows me to cry for and with the characters. I also like writing my feelings in poetry or prose.
Taking baths and making warm or pretty foods is also a source of confort to me.
Sometimes when I move a little, I can get in contact with grief as well. I also use music, watching movies, spending time in nature, getting a gentle touch massage, spending some time where I used to go with my parents/grandparents, when they were alive, is also very speciel to me.
Getting a hug when Im really sad, also works wonders or just someone holding a supportive hand on my back, feels very comforting to me.
My best friends havent lost their parents yet, so they dont really get the feeling of not being able to see their parents ever again. (I dident get the change to say goodbye to my parents)
One of my favorite singers in my country (I always used to attend her live concerts every year) makes a "come together ritual" for people who have lost their loved ones. We light candles for the people we have lost, we sing some of her beautyfull songs, while she plays the piano or guitar and shes also a poetry writer, so she read some of her beautyfull poetry to us. This year her new boyfriend, who had lost his first wife, also attended the ceremony.
As grief is a trauma and each persons body reacts individually, we all process grief diffently.
This intimate diary reveals a single mother's odyssey of tragedy and triumph after the sudden death of her 33-year-old husband. It's about trust shattered, then renewed; faith destroyed, then rebuilt; hearts broken, then healed. This inspiring book can give you hope, clarity, and courage. Many grateful readers have shared that this book profoundly changed their lives. It deeply touched them, inspired them to love again, and accelerated their own journey back to happiness.
Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on the capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories as well as from others', the authors illustrate how it is possible to recover from grief and regain energy and spontaneity.
Based on a proven program, The Grief Recovery Handbook offers grievers the specific actions needed to move beyond loss. New material in this edition includes guidance for dealing with:
· Loss of faith · Loss of career and financial issues · Loss of health · Growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home