Sometimes grief attacks out of nowhere. Like a shark. A grief shark. When it happens, this is what you do.

 

Here’s a call I got this week:

Georgena, I wanted to make meatballs on Sunday and couldn’t find the recipe. So, I reached for my phone to call my mom. She knows my favorite recipes by heart. Then I remembered…. She passed four years ago. Now I’ve felt heavy for three days.”

It didn’t take a grief therapist to know grief had bushwhacked this person.  Totally plunged back into raw grief. The air-sucked-out- of-you, instant grief. Searing pain.

 

This person felt 7 years old again. They missed their mommy. Sadness covered the landscape of their life. They had no energy and certainly didn’t have a very good week.

 

The grief shark had circled back to attack

 

When the tears cleared and they were safely on solid emotional ground, we practiced the strategy for what to do when the grief shark attacks.

 

“Oh, You’re back.”

First, we recognized the attack. The sadness, aloneness, and rawness of the grief. All the feelings. Named them.

 

The body tells the truth

Then, they related to the emotions. And had a conversation with them.

 

What do you want me to know?

 

This gets us out of our head and into our body. The co-creators of Gestalt Therapy, Fritz Perls and his wife Laura Perls, said:

“Lose your mind and come to your senses.”

 

The mind can be mean. But the body tells the truth.

 

When the grief shark circles back to attack, use your body-mind to listen.

 

Recognize-Relate-Release

 

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,

 

Georgena

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