Kate Strong | Intuitive Healing
GeneralHonouring Grief

Honouring Grief

Feeling Grief

I’ve been putting off writing this article for weeks now. I knew I wanted to do it; I write from a feelings space, and I didn’t want to feel the enormity of my grief.

 

Some days I feel as if my whole life has been about holding grief, feeling grief, resolving grief, whether it be something that has happened in the Now, whether its been grief from my past, or even unresolved grief from my ancestors.

 

Not Allowed To Feel Grief

I think the western culture doesn’t *do* grief well. We value productivity over feelings. We  manage our feelings, not feel them.

 

I looked up on the NZ Government website how long paid bereavement leave is, and its 1 day for someone unrelated, and 3 days for a close relative. I don’t even imagine that would even see you through to the funeral.

 

Types of Grief

We can have all kinds of grief, the obvious biggies are when someone we love dies, or a beloved pet; a divorce, moving house, jobs, natural disaster; but we can have grief for many other things too, like a missed opportunity, the state of the world, your life not turning out how you had hoped it would. You can even have daily grief; the day not going as you had planned.

 

Unmourned Grief

Grief mounts up if you don’t take space to mourn your loss. Grief can only be put aside for so long and then it pushes to be acknowledged. Unmourned grief will show itself in illnesses, addictions, depression and anxiety.

 

We get scared of grief, we think it will overwhelm us if we face it. That it will go on forever. We can think we are crying over spilled milk or are being indulgent. We can go into our heads and think our way out of it, rationalising it, telling ourselves to be happy. But we run the risk of shutting down our heart if we sidestep grief.

 

Honouring Grief

What if it’s OK to be sad? To honour being sad, to allow space to be sad. To keep our heart open and feel the loss. Even if its bit by bit. As much as we think we can handle.

 

Grief lets us know that something mattered to us. That something was important. That we Loved. That we were connected.

 

If we take the time to feel the grief, then it will lighten.

 

“Healing” Grief

I don’t think grief can be processed away, through a technique, I think if we are stuck its probably because we aren’t feeling the grief, so healing tools are good to get us back into the flow. But we can be grieving something even 10 years later, bit by bit, depending on how we faced grief along the way. I don’t think grief can be rushed through so we can be over it.

 

I’ve also heard about professional mourners. People you can hire to go to funerals and start people off wailing and crying.

 

Empaths and Grief

If you’re an empath you can be feeling other peoples grief, alive or deceased, so that’s something I always have to check for when I’m feeling grief. Whether its mine or not. But I have to also be mindful if I’m wanting to avoid my grief and want it to be someone else’s. If it is someone else’s grief I will feel the shift in my body when I ask.

 

This weekend in NZ is ANZAC day, honouring the soldiers who fought in the wars, this is always a day that Ive felt very strongly as an empath. Its always been a sad day for me. Perhaps a nationally recognised day to grieve; to honour and remember.

 

My Grief

As I wrote last week my oldest friend passed away a week ago. It was very surreal, as she and I had daily contact for 26 years. I can see the stages of grief in myself, the shock, denial, anger, depression, acceptance. But they are scrambled and all over the place. The little things will get me, something will happen and I will go to my phone or laptop to tell her and then I realise.

 

Of course the mourning isn’t for her, she has moved on with her journey, the mourning is for myself, because I miss my friend, and I want the future to look like the past. I don’t know what the future holds and I don’t like feeling that empty space there. So I mourn her loss in my life. I can mourn what I think she will miss out on in this lifetime, but I don’t know her future or what is in store to compare whether she is missing out.

 

Sabotaging Grief

I also think there’s a difference between grief and suffering. We can have survivor guilt if someone we love has died, thinking we should grieve for a certain amount of time, or not be happy because they are not here. This is mostly unconscious behaviour.

 

We can sabotage ourselves by thinking they didn’t live so we can’t enjoy our life, or swing to the opposite thinking they didn’t live so we have to live for them and exhaust ourselves by living for two people, not allowing ourselves to be still.

 

Or we went through a divorce and told ourselves that person really didn’t matter to us. Or we lost a *thing*, or something broke and we tell ourselves its materialistic to be sad over the loss of a thing. But even material things matter to us.  Our heart feels the loss even if our heads minimise it’s importance.

 

The Body Can Be a Doorway To Unresolved Grief

Unresolved grief pushes to be felt.

 

Something you might like to try, is to be aware of your breathing, and slow it down, then ask your body if there is anywhere it is holding grief that you haven’t felt. If nothing pops up you can feel into your heart, and ask your heart the same question.

 

How do you feel about honouring your Grief?

 

Kate offers Healings and Intuitive Guidance. She offers sessions in the Emotion Code, Body Code, Cord Cutting Past Life Healings, Soul Healings and more. She offers these by email.

Comments

  • Deborah Nord

    I am sorry for your loss. I, too, have lost a dear friend of 25 years. Her absence continues to be felt even after a year plus. I had a dream of her appearing and she was shooting out rays of light and then she vanished very quickly and I knew that she was now among the light beings. It made me happy for her. blessings to you. Deborah

    • Kate

      Hi Deborah, thank you. Im sorry for your loss. You know how I feel then. I had a dream last night someone told me she was around me. Even though I do what I do, I still have my emotions when it comes to Spirit in relationship to me. Its easy going there when Im doing it for other people, I wholeheartedly believe what I believe, but its a bit harder when I deal with my own pain. Im like any other person seeking comfort. I know she will be fine and she had a strong pull to her next calling I believe, but Im still sad for myself, and her family.

  • carla

    I always love confirmations from the universe.I am greiving a very deep connection realationship. This is helpful thank you

  • Jude

    Hi Kate, thanks for sharing about your loss. your perspective on grief resonates with me and so often speaks to where I am and that in itself feels so supportive. It is hard to find sacred space and the right support to grieve especially for those losses that are invisible to others but known in our own hearts. I am bang in the middle of feeling some deep pain for what seems an enormity of things that deeply mattered to me and not being able to do it openly has felt very isolating. your point about there being no technique is so true. I just coming back to breathing and trusting and feeling my body and being present to myself with kindness and gentleness. as you say there is no getting it over with, the whole thing requires enormous courage. Your point about asking whether it’s yours or not and feeling the response in the body was also a timely reminder. And I have often thought I would make a great keener at funerals!
    It’s lightened my heart just reading this thread so thanks. And may your feelings support you as you face the changes ahead and the absence of that lovely daily intimacy you shared with your friend.

    • Kate

      Thanks Jude, what a beautiful response from you. I’m sorry you have to take a leap of faith into grief as well. Its like jumping into the ocean and trusting you’ll come up for air. I don’t see grief as a block, but its the truth. Not that we have to stay there to feel the truth but avoiding it keeps us separate from the Divine. I wish you lots of cyber hand holding in your grieving as well.

    • Karen J

      {{{Jude}}} too in your grieving, visible from the outside or not.

  • Shannon

    Kate – a very timely post for both myself and my husband, John. I was actually going to write you an email asking about the connection between grief and addition as John and I have been having an interesting and revealing conversation about addition and how grief may be connected for some people. The post also got me remembering to about 5 years ago, when the relationship I was in prior to marrying John ended. As I grieved daily (for about 11 months), the most fascinating thing happened, I felt a foundation being built underneath me that had not been there before. During that time, I watched Castaway with Tom Hanks and when he’s alone on his raft, in his grief, having lost truly everything, the whales come and sing the most beautiful song to him. I took great comfort in that scene. When I look back to that time of great grief, two things stand out- 1) I spent much of that time just hanging out in nature and letting the earth, wind and sky support me and 2) it led me to my marriage to John, which has a depth I did not know one could have prior to that period. Funny how one can grow from just grieving – something I had not known prior.
    My deepest sympathies for the death of your close friend – I bow in your presence for finding the strength to write such a post at such a time. During my time of grief, I couldn’t talk about it, let alone write about it.

    • Kate

      Hi Shannon, thanks so much for your comments. Im lucky I do work where I can write about it. I couldnt imagine fronting up to a 9-5 job. Thats where addiction would come into play I think, stuff it all down so you can front up to a job where you have to put a mask on and smile etc. Imagine being in customer service.
      We think of grieving as this chore to have to do, or, its something that grips us like say depression or a mental illness, when really it IS the healing process, its natural, no different than how say a wound on our skin would heal. Its spiritual, like your description in the movie and how you found yourself moved on. Its staying in the flow and honouring even the depression.
      Ive had griefs that I couldnt talk about, if I opened my mouth I would fear crumpling. Like my abortion, the massively unsocially acceptable grief. I do feel though Ive only mentioned her passing, but not the details, if I got into the nitty gritty of it would set me off. She had an aggressive cancer and died in 3 months, so there was grief along the way, and the shock also was more that it was so fast.
      Thank you for the space to talk a bit more about it.
      What did you discover in your conversation about grief and addiction?

  • Karen J

    Dear Kate ~ I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. Losing that daily contact leaves a really rough/tough spot to get past. As one of my roommate’s favorite wall hangings says, “It takes a long time to grow old friends”. {{{hugs}}} from the other side of that loss…

    • Kate

      Hi Karen, thats a lovely quote on the wall hanging. Yes, it does take a long time, and no one had witnessed that big of a chunk of my life other than her. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

  • Shannon

    Hi Kate – we talked quite a bit about how time of day and place can play into accessing grief. The “magic” time when the sun is setting and transitioning from an active day to more slower paced nighttime activities – dinner, bath time, homework, etc.- can really get the grief process going, reminding one of where one really is in their life, little griefs like realizing one’s life has not turned out as one had thought. Moving from day to night can provide an opportunity for grief to reveal itself, but it can also feel overwhelming. As the sun sets and night takes over, there is not an outside distraction that can take our focus away (mail being delivered, getting ready for work, etc). Instead, there’s the quietness of the night that stretches on out before us. And its scary to feel the enormity of grief – especially if not processed for generations. We also talked about how feeling really happy can also trigger grief – its like the opposite reaction can “stir the pot” and get other strong feelings moving about. Places can also trigger grief – especially if one has not been back to the place where something occurred that caused the grief. We talked about how sometimes people can avoid a place because they know intuitively it will access their grief “well” and that’s not a “well” they want to drink from, so to speak. It is a conversation that continues to play out today, with more depth coming through.

    • Kate

      Beautiful Shannon, also seasons, we are in Autumn now with the leaves falling. About letting go 🙂

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