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Grief can be caused from any sort of trauma involving loss, from loss of a loved one to loss of an ideal or dream. It affects us all differently and it is impossible and wrong to judge one persons grief as more valid than another's.

Grief is a natural and healthy process that we take on to assimilate shocking change into our reality.

Psychiatrist Kubler-Ross described grief in 5 phases or stages, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

These are not mandatory and when they are present don't follow a specific order, we don't progress one at a time from denial through to acceptance, more, we pass back and forth as needed.

Denial can give us grace, space to process the shock safely. The detachment that depression brings is another safety mechanism.

Bargaining, I think, is the most transient of stages; being the promises and pledges that we make to ourselves to express our responsibility.

Anger is a super effective way of breaking out of detachment. If we are in a sea of nothing and no one, but we are able to focus (even in anger) on someone or something, then our anger makes a bridge away from our self focused isolation. None of these phases are ideal, but they do seem to be for most people, at least temporarily necessary. Then comes acceptance.

Acceptance isn't about feeling fine about loss, it's a process of accepting our new reality, and how we live with it.

For some of us, these steps of grief don't stop. For some these feelings are entwined with anxiety. We get caught up and feel our grief more deeply after time. Our anger seems boundless and can be frightening. Our isolation is overwhelming, we are irritable and joy is lost. We experience panic, become obsessive in our thoughts, and feel helpless.

Grief is hard, it's exhausting and when it becomes prolonged can take an enormous toll, not just on our relationships, and our work but on our bodies too. Prolonged grief symptoms do nothing to honour our loss. they tarnish our memories and warp our love.

If you are here maybe you recognise yourself. The first step to making change always seems to be acknowledging that there might be a problem. If you recognise yourself hear, then you are ready to make the changes that will let you move forward.

Contact me.

I'm happy to hold the safe space you need for us to work together to lift the pain from you, so that you can feel more in control, and begin to move into your life..

Image by Pajon Pooma