Recently a client said: “I am dreading the holidays. I don’t know how I will feel from one minute to the next!”

Guess what? I don’t know how I will feel from one minute to the next either!

I’d like to think that living now in Gentle Grief, I am impervious to worry, doubt, despair, grief, anger, and fear. Guess what? I am not!!

I once asked a wise woman, “What is the purpose of grief?” she answered, “To feel your emotions.”  I would revise that to, “To feel your heavy emotions”.

We are so busy living life, that when loss lays us low and grief floods the tapestry of our lives, we are forced to feel the heavy emotions. Anger, sadness, longing, worry, doubt, fear, anxiety, and despair are constant companions in Raw Grief. You feel the actual pain of those first weeks and months after your loss.

Last week in the support group for those bereaved by suicide, someone said,

“The grief never goes away. It’s just different.”

It IS different! The intensity and frequency of emotions subside. It shifts as pain is released. It shifts as the ocean of tears from our heart is brought up and out. It is different when we can celebrate how our beloved lived and not dwell on how they died and that they are now gone.

We can’t rationalize our emotions. They’re here to provide information.

So, the next time you feel a heavy emotion –  stop and pause.

  • Ask yourself: “How old am I feeling?
  • Next ask: “What state am I in?”  This allows you to NAME the emotion.
  • Then ask the emotion: “What do you want me to know?”
  • Now listen. You will be surprised. As you listen to YOUR heavy emotions, a pattern will emerge.
    • You will notice the thought that triggered the emotion. You may note the smell, sound, song, or color that released this emotion.
  • Finally ask: “What is the kindest and most loving thing I can do for myself right now?”

The answer is within you. Life is meant to be lived from the inside out!

For more holiday insights see Checkin’ Out My Holiday Grief

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