Let's start with this truth: we tend to overpathologize grief. Our culture, our community and health professionals, we all do it. We want it to get better, we want to be "over it" and we want it to stop hurting.
But the truth is, grief hurts. It sucks. It feels awful. That's how it is designed to be.
The pain of grief is not the problem.
When grief becomes stuck
Grief is meant to be like a flowing ocean, waves crashing over us that become smaller and less intense with each one. However, when grief is mixed with trauma, the flowing ocean turns into a river that hits a dam. It can't move. It's stuck. The crashes have the same intensity and there's no movement to release.
Anything has the potential to be traumatic
There's no definition of what is considered "traumatic enough". For some of my clients, a traumatic experience tied to a loss was having emergency surgery or requiring a blood transfusion. For others, it was being in the room with an ultrasound tech who made a face but didn't share the words during a scan. For yet others, it was hearing the words, "I'm so sorry."
There is no qualifier so I urge you not to judge or minimize your experience of trauma for fear it's not "traumatic enough". If it felt traumatic to you, then it was a trauma. The end.
When trauma and grief co-exist, your body shows symptoms When this happens, the grief becomes stuck in the body and we start to see health complications arise: insomnia, increase in blood pressure and heart rate, decreased immunity, etc. This is due to the chronic activation of the arousal system.
In other words, when grief becomes stuck in our bodies, our bodies feel like we're not safe, like our lives are being threatened. Yes, it's like we're being chased by that bear again. This is why one entire module of the Whole Story program is dedicated to traumatic grief release.
How to remove the dam and make the river flow again
Grief release and recovery has nothing to do with crying less or feeling happier and everything to do with disconnecting that lack of safety from your loss. This all begins with your nervous system. By re-regulating your nervous system, you can teach your body that you are no longer in danger and that thinking about your loss is not a dangerous experience.
In separating that fear from the memory, you can remember your angels from a place of peace. Yes, you will always carry sadness. But it won't feel like a heavy sadness that knocks you down into a hole every time. It will feel like a wave - a transient experience where you feel it, and then it passes.
That is grief recovery and I know you can get there too. You're not taking too long to "get over it". You're not wallowing or "not moving on". This is trauma. The Whole Story program is now open!
Check out the free webinar to learn more about the program & learn about the missing link that's kept you from experiencing true relief from your past trauma and grief.
I can't wait to see you there!