The past year alone has had us suffer losses we might never have thought we would experience, much less simultaneously undergo collectively, in this lifetime.
We’ve lost family, friends, and colleagues to this pandemic.
We’ve lost jobs, careers, businesses, security, time with loved ones, occasions to celebrate, and have cancelled long-awaited trips.
We’ve scrapped plans, been forced to redirect, re-evaluate, and pivot away from an idealized trajectory that felt was so solid just a year prior.
Front liners have seen their colleagues succumb to this virus in their efforts to heal those afflicted in our communities. They’ve lost time with loved ones as they attempted to curb the spread from their own families.
The end is seemingly in sight, but with the blows we’ve faced thus far, many may be wary to count their eggs before they hatch.
The little things we take for granted and now miss, like giving someone a long hug or a handshake, or even the things we complain about, like waiting in traffic or in line, all pale in comparison when weighed against the backdrop of this pandemic. But mourning our losses, however small in comparison, doesn't take away from the loss of others.
This is something David Kessler, a reknowned grief counselor, speaks about in his brief workshop on how to move through grief.
Grief is the death of something. It may be that of someone we love and deeply care about. A death of a marriage, a death of a career or a paycheck. A breakup is the death of a relationship.
Having a wedding cancelled, or a trip postponed are losses as well, and often need to be grieved too.
Whatever the context, he notes on the importance of understanding what your grief is, and on how equally important it is to name your grief.
If you feel that you have experienced a form of grief and need help moving through it, he advises to, in a safe and quiet room, learn to tell yourself:
My loss counts.
My trauma counts.
My feelings matter.
I am allowed to feel however I feel.
I am not alone.
I am grieving, and that’s okay.
Try to speak about your grief to a trusted friend, or someone you feel safe with, whether it be a family member, a friend, a colleague, or a professional healthcare worker, or counselor.
If you prefer to work through it on your own some prompts you may find helpful to address would be:
- What does my grief want me to know?
- What, if anything, has stopped me from feeling my emotions around the loss?
- What is my idea or perception of grief? Where did this perception come from? How has this idea of grief influenced the way I deal with loss in my life?
- If my grief could speak, what would it say?
- What are the feelings, emotions, and conditions that I have tried to alter or control with this problem?
- What have I done in the past to try and control, fix, or change this area in my life?
It is crucial to understand that “…the reality is that we are not broken, and we don't need to be fixed. What we need is our grief to be witnessed. We need to be seen. We need other people to see this pain we’re in, that this loss mattered.” -David Kessler
Wherever we are in this journey, we will always have our own selves to turn to, and our sincere hope is that we’re all able to create a safe space in our own selves, as well as with others, to cultivate a feeling of support as we collectively learn to navigate through this massive shift that may be creating grief inside each of us.
This content was referenced from David Kessler’s Workshop: Help for the Hurting Heart with One Commune, and we highly recommend those who need support to give his workshop a look, especially if grief, and moving through it with grace and wisdom, is something you would like to learn about.
If you like this type of content, let us know in the comments section! As always, we appreciate any constructive support from our community. Let’s work together to ensure we have each other’s backs!