Grief is a Beast

This has been another difficult week for many of us. In the United States and the rest of the world. Working with individuals in psychotherapy, spending time with friends and family via Zoom meetings, as well as spending some quiet personal time I’ve noticed a few things. The world is grieving right now. We’re all having to go through something that we wish we didn’t. Even worse we’re having to feel like we are watching it in slow motion. Over the next couple weeks we wanted to spend a little bit of time discussing grief, what it is, and how to process it.

One of my very first Instagram posts for the business was titled grief is a beast. It really is like this monster that sneaks up on you. It’s difficult to manage and deal with and oftentimes tells us it’s not there or shouldn’t be there.

It manifests itself differently for everyone. It often has different faces. It can look like anger, depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, hopelessness, and the list goes on and on. It’s dynamic, not static, in that it can change from day-to-day. It’s hard to wrap your head around it. And in the end part of us doesn’t want to process it because ultimately we really don’t want to accept that whatever has been changed or lost is really gone.

Grief is defined as a deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death. I would go on to add that it could be a deep sorrow about the loss of any person, place or thing. Anytime something changes to the point of being unable to return to the state it once was we often experience grief.

Right now I’m observing a deep sorrow and grief running throughout humanity. It’s a realization of the great destruction to human life that COVID-19 brings. It’s also deeper than that. For many of us we are removed as of yet from direct loss to family and friends. What we are facing is a grief of the major change to life as we know It. Our habits, our culture, our practices, our rituals are all having to change quickly with very little notice. I believe there is a deep unconscious recognition that life is going to have to be different… and it’s hard for us to accept, so we try to keep our businesses open a little bit longer, try to enjoy ourselves on the lake, try to meet in any way we can and keep some sense of normalcy. But in the end change has to happen.

The purpose of this series is not to be all doom and gloom. Personally I think that there is a tremendous amount of hope, growth potential and opportunity through this process. Growth does not happen in a comfortable state. We’re all challenged with getting really uncomfortable and growing through this.

As we unpack this over the next few weeks the first thing that we feel compelled to share is that it makes sense. It makes sense if you’re angry, it makes sense if you’re sad, it makes sense if you don’t want to close your business, it makes sense if you’re following a strict quarantine and not leaving your house, it makes sense if you’re fearful, it makes sense if you’re anxious.. It makes sense that you’re grieving in your own way. Our hope is that together we can work through this grief and grow stronger as individuals, families, communities, and humanity as a whole.