You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler
It’s a natural human experience.
And yet, collectively, we tend to avoid talking about it.
One practical step toward opening up more conversations about grief?
Educating ourselves on the facts.
Today we’re sharing 5 fast facts about grief:
1. “The grief process” is unique to each of us.
While the presence of grief in your life connects you to a shared experience with people everywhere, the nature and experience of it is unique to you. This is why you might find certain information, resources, or anecdotes helpful, whereas others might not reflect your own experience. Try to remind yourself that you’re navigating something totally new, and give yourself permission to let the process take whatever shape it needs to.
2. Grief can take you (and those around you) by surprise.
As humans, we often can’t resist the urge to “make sense” of the seemingly senseless things that happen to and around us. This includes the experience of grief. You might notice that the people around you seem surprised by the magnitude or focus of your grief. (You might be feeling surprised, as well.) Try to stay out of judgment of your experience, and avoid rushing to label it or explain it away. Simply acknowledging that it’s there is enough.
3. Grief can encompass multiple losses.
We tend to think of grieving as a linear process; a straightforward chain of cause and effect. Yet, for many of us, a primary loss (such as the death of a partner) can trigger a cascade of “secondary losses” (such as financial hardship, safety concerns, increased share of parenting and/or household responsibilities). Taken together, these multiple losses can present many practical challenges and may require a variety of supports to help navigate them over time.
4. Grief can come and go.
One paradox of grief is that, while you likely will feel a gradual return to “normal” functioning in your life, the pain of loss may reemerge at any time, just as painfully. If you’re navigating grief for the first time, or struggling to explain the paradox to someone else, this “ball and box analogy” can be useful.
5. Community can be healing.
Grief can feel so personal that we might assume it’s best handled privately. And while you might find great relief and healing in certain solo activities and resources, finding a safe and supportive community to hold space for your emotions can be a powerful piece of the healing process. Facilitated groups (like our new offering below) are one excellent option to explore.
Looking for Support Coping with Grief?
We’re pleased to announce a new group, hosted by Alejandra Aschittino-Rodriguez, LADC, Post-Master’s Fellow.
Spring can be especially challenging when you are grieving. As the weather warms and the earth begins to blossom, feelings of sadness and depression can deepen as those around you seem happier and excited to enjoy the warmer weather. Our pain can intensify as the change of season brings on memories of the people who are no longer with us or of times when we were happier.
This group at Sonder Behavioral Health and Wellness is a place to create a community to connect with, to work through grief with and to support one another along the way. The group will provide you with a safe space to better understand your unique grief and to develop coping strategies to address the psychological and social impacts grief can have in your life. The group is for anyone who has lost a loved one OR who has gone through a change in their life that has caused them to be unsure about who they are or their place in the world.
This group will run Mondays (5:30pm to 7:00pm) beginning March 9th and ending April 27th.
Space is limited. If you’re interested, please email email@example.com.
Hi! My name is Alejandra Aschittino-Rodriguez, and I will be running this group. I am a licensed counselor with a Master of Arts in Addiction and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Minnesota.
I have extensive education and experience in grief counseling, including working with adults, adolescents, couples, and families in a private practice setting, creating an intensive training program around grief associated with COVID-19, and participating in a research project examining the effects culture has on grief.
I am excited to walk with you in this journey.
Looking for 1:1 support?