Happy Monday! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

The loss of a person, a situation, a job or an object. It’s a change in circumstances, a relationship, or situations. The loss of a role or a dream. The process of holding what you needed and wanted, but never received.

This can be through an actual death, distance or just an ending of something. It can be the discovery of something you realize you never received and now hold the truth that you never will, at least from that person. It can be sadness for the child within that was neglected, abused or hurt in significant ways and was never validated or acknowledged.

Often we don’t know how to grieve. We find numerous ways to avoid, numb or deny its existence. As hard as we may try, we can’t run from our grief process.

Grief holds within it great anguish, somatic manifestations, and often gut wrenching and intense emotions. The process of grief also holds the importance of honoring of what the thing that was loss really meant to you. It involves recognizing how not having significant needs met impacted you. The allowing of the process of grief to unfold helps us have more authentic and deeper relationships. If we loved deeply in the first place, we will definitely grieve deeply. Sometimes the grief we feel is because we have lots of love for a person we have lost that we still want to give them. We feel we have unspoken words or actions not taken. We might have to face guilt or regret. It can leave a void in our hearts and in our worlds.

Sometimes the loss activates overwhelming or unresolved painful experiences from our childhood or past. This can make grief more complex and compounded. Often we are grieving multiple things at once as well as multiple losses. Grief is at the heart of every traumatic experience. Grief does not wear a watch. Often pushing down feelings of grief can take a toll on our physical and psychological well-being.

We are not taught how to honor our losses. We try to pray it away, rationalize it, or get so busy focusing on something else or someone else that we skip over it entirely. We prefer to swim in a river called denial. Often this was what was modeled or taught to us. We may have shame that we feel sadness and think we are weak or should be over this by now. Grief is definitely a process that has many phases that are not in any particular order. Deep grief work will come waves and can be extremely exhausting at times.

So what do we do when we have experienced a significant loss?

We will have to slow down to get in touch with what we are feeling. We must embrace and express how the loss is affecting us. Grief will ask us for attention and time. Grief will most definitely involve tears. Grief can awaken unconscious material that needs ti be processed and honored. We will need to honor what it meant to us and celebrate what it brought to our lives. Grief will ask us to hold hard truths. Grief will call us to be patient with ourselves, to be kind and nurturing. It will require us to ask for and receive support, and maybe even get professional help. Engaging in quality self care is so important.

Everyone has their own unique journey with the process of working through experiences of grief and loss. It’s often a very difficult, but can be a beautiful process as well if you are open to it. If you embrace it fully, you might find that you are able to posses more appreciation for what you have, and the ability to be more intentional about spending quality time with those you care for. It can cause you to reprioritize your life to what’s most important.

The big lesson: take nothing or no one for granted. Tomorrow is not promised. Life is so short and so precious. Grief can cause you to make a significant shift in your priorities and make choices from a more conscious place.

Honoring your grief journey can bring nurturing and healing to the younger parts of yourself. The younger parts deserve to feel, be supported, to know their worthiness, and their pain held and acknowledged. They deserve permission to feel the sadness and to be held.

I hope you chose to slow down and honor your unique grieving process. I pray that you can get the support you need along the journey of healing from the great losses in your life.

I hope that it helps you to love yourself and your loved ones in a deeper, more intentional & more authentic way. May you be more honoring and conscious of the precious time you still have.

May you find new levels of freedom and relief on your journey of healing from significant losses. 🙏🏻

Life is so incredibly short!

Kelli Leader Cook

Hopeful insights

Counseling & Consulting