I’ve had so many losses, I don’t want to go back and look at any of them.” This was the response I received recently when I asked a friend if she had ever read my book.
I didn’t do grief either… until grief …did me… by rendering me powerless. It took 20 years. I couldn’t work, couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t continue in the same old rut of denial. Denial is like a blanket we wrap around ourselves. We can’t see the light with this thick blanket wrapped around us and we don’t even know we are doing this to ourselves until we begin to peek out from under the blanket and see the brilliance we’ve been missing out on.
Suppressing grief is like trying to keep an octopus covered with a small blanket; eventually the octopus escapes and scampers down the street wreaking havoc in your life.
“Being numb is not the worse state of affairs,” you might say, but there’s no joy, aliveness or magic in it. This is what I know for sure, as Oprah would say. Unresolved grief casts a shadow over everything that is beautiful in life. When you give up resistance to grieving and work with a grief coach to address your losses, unseen spiritual and human allies show up to lead you. After you excavate the unexpressed emotions, you are reborn with a new vitality and wisdom born out of your courageous journey. You bring back your wisdom to your people. The product of my journey into unresolved grief was my book, Grief Denied A Vietnam Widow’s Story. http://www.griefdenied.com
Ignoring my losses, one after another, led to shouldering through life, getting through yet another funeral and continuing to bear the burden of trying to hold denied grief inside. I just ran from the many losses by maintaining a busy life. Each loss denied and unexpressed enlarges into a mass, which grows and grows, like a snowball rolling down a mountain sucking everything into its path.
The only way to stop the tidal wave of losses is to stop and face them, welcome grief into your life, ask it to sit with you and teach you the lesson it has brought for you.
A traumatic loss is like a chest wound that needs immediate care. If you try to bandage it, it gets infected and becomes an even bigger threat to your physical and emotional health.
I work with people who are ready to face grief. I invite you to contact me if these words resonate with you for an introductory session of healing and the beginning of a courageous journey.