Keep on until you catch on.
– Eric Butterworth.
My Dear Community,
Grief is hard when you do the inner work. It’s even harder when you don’t.
Lately, a physician has referred many of his patients to me. He recognizes that underlying grief causes multiple aches, pains, and depression.
Often when a sudden loss occurs, we don’t have time for the tsunami of deep dark emotions. There’s too much to do to clean up the mess. Then, when it seems you can get back to ‘normal’, it doesn’t happen.
Why? Because you’re not even aware that you must go through a labor of grieving.
Grief is an inside job. You labor to birth your new self. To discover ‘Who am I now?’
Like in childbirth, the process of birthing the new you goes through distinct stages.
Raw Grief requires courage
The first state, Raw Grief, requires courage. Courage to show up and recognize that you are grieving. It takes fortitude to engage with the confusion and deep dark anguished feelings. It takes strength to bear with the behavioral outbursts, sobbing, and more confusion.
In this state you may feel like you’re bobbing up and down in an ocean of overwhelm. There is no ground beneath you. It takes courage to ‘keep on until you catch on’. Waking up every morning to this new reality in your life is hard.
Fragile Grief requires compassion
The second state, Fragile Grief, requires compassion. Compassion for your precious self that feels so sad, mad, and often guilty. Compassion for those around you grieving differently and who can’t read your mind. Compassion for our culture that fears grieving people.
This is the state that can last months, years, or even the remainder of your life. The labor in this state requires showing up every single day to realize you are not broken.
Instead, you are broken open. You are broken open in grief so growth can happen. Just as the acorn is broken open deep under the ground so the seed can grow.
It’s in this state of longing that you are called to be in your feelings. To truly come face to face with your false life stories causing you despair.
This is the place where a skilled listener may save hours, weeks, months, and years of pain, resistance and fear.
Because each of us has the answers to our life within us. We simply may not be aware of them. A skilled listener can help draw out the answers from within.
Gentle Grief yields confidence
Finally, the third state is Gentle Grief. This calmness results in confidence in the new now. Confidence in the new you.
Where are you in your labor of grief?
No matter the state you’re experiencing today, there’s healing and growth.
Help during your labor
Need a “labor” coach? Comment below and I’ll respond to you personally. Or download one of our helpful online resources.
Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,