Overcoming Grief – we can’t go over, under or around it. We need to go through it.

3 min read

Overcoming Grief – we can’t go over, under or around it. We need to go through it.

“Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss; so why do we struggle so much with it?”

We often learn, even from a young age, that we should not show our sad or painful feelings. This leaves many of us struggling to deal with those emotions for years to come.

To overcome grief, you can’t go under it or around it, you must go through it. To understand how this can be done, it’s first worth looking at some of the ways we have learned to deal with grief that actually, may not have proven helpful:

The 6 myths of grief:

“Grieve Alone” – “Just give her some space” or “he needs a few minutes in the other room”. As children and continued into adulthood we learn that this means sad feelings should be hidden or experienced alone.

“Time heals all wounds” – Would you sit and watch a flat tyre in the hope it re-inflates itself? The key to recovering from grief is the ‘action’ taken, which over time helps us to heal.

“Be strong” – “Have to be strong for your mum/wife/children”. Forget about being strong; be human.

“Don’t feel sad” – “Don’t cry at least you had him for 20 years” or “don’t feel sad, his suffering is over”. These are intellectually true statements, but unhelpful emotionally to the griever.

“Replace the loss” – “You will find someone else”. Again, this may well be true but does not mean that the grief is any less intense.

“Keep busy” – “If I just keep busy, I won’t have to think about the loss”. This is sad because people never get the chance to grieve properly. No matter how far you run, you can’t go around your broken heart. 

What does Recovery Mean?

Recovery from loss is achieved by a series of small and correct choices made by the griever.

Recovery means acquiring new skills to deal with loss directly.

Recovery is being able to enjoy fond memories without having them turn painful.

Recovery is acknowledging that it’s perfectly ok to feel sad from time to time and to talk about those feelings no matter how those around you react.

Recovery means feeling better.

Sadly, most of us haven’t been given the necessary information to make the correct choice in response to loss and this is where the Grief Recovery Method Programme can help.

What is the Grief Recovery Method Programme (GRM)?

GRM is an evidence based, structured educational programme. It works differently from traditional counselling services as it reduces the effect of grief and loss by teaching the following through specific action steps;

  • New skills to cope with and process painful events
  • Tools to confront old myths or beliefs and unsuccessful grieving methods
  • Ways to let go of pain and unmet dreams, hopes and expectations 

GRM has been a key part of my journey, which you can read more about on my website: https://www.griefrecoverymethod.co.uk/joan 

Please always remember this;

Grief is unique and individual. 

I will leave you with this analogy: 

“Pull up the weeds”

Grief is often like an overgrown garden. We know it’s there, but we really don’t want to face it. For a while we may be able to put it out of our minds, but it’s still there getting more daunting. Traditional methods encourage you to talk about the garden, or maybe listen to others talk about what they’ve done with theirs. However, yours is still there, unweeded and untended. The GRM programme will give you the tools you need to tackle the garden, with someone alongside you to show you how to use them. Once we’re done, you’ll still have the tools to tackle any weeds that show up in the weeks, months and years to come. These tools don’t wear out and in fact, the more you use them, the more effective they become. 

Article by Joan Hughes, Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist – Grief Recovery Method

Grief Recovery Method