Am I grieving correctly? I get this question ALL the time. Many of my clients come to me with this big, scary doubt chewing up their brain: Am I doing grief wrong? And ten times out of ten, my answer is NO.
What does “doing grief wrong” look like? Here are some common answers from my clients:
- I’m crying too much
- I feel so sensitive
- I don’t want people to think I’m weak
- I feel like I lose it all the time
- I’m walking around with brain fog
I want you to know that all of the above are normal, healthy signs of a grieving person. Grief is the heart’s way of saying “I just lost something and it hurts.” What could be wrong with that?
You’re grieving because you were, and are attached to your dog who died, the ex who cheated on you, the job you were let go from, the home you had to give up, or your mother who can’t remember your name. The only way you can NOT feel the pain is by not loving, not becoming attached.
Do you want to feel detached?
What makes grief so hard on us is our own judgment of the process. Some common judgments we place on ourselves:
- I should be over this by now
- I hate how weak I feel
- I don’t want to think about this
- I’m bad at feeling sad feelings
- Crying doesn’t solve anything
Your grief doesn’t want to be researched, overthought, and analyzed. Your grief simply wants to be felt.
Beating up on our grief doesn’t heal it. Hating your pain doesn’t make it go away. Judging your loss isn’t the best way to deal with it.
Grief needs patience. When you bring patience to your experience of grief, you relax into a sense of peace.
What does being patient with grief look like?
- Allow grief space to show up. Instead of crowding your days with stuff to do, create small pockets of time to ‘feel your feelings.’ Make a regular appointment with your grief.
- Welcome grief in. Don’t shut the door on it. When you feel the urge to cry, let yourself cry. When the storm is over, the energy has passed through you.
- Don’t place a time-frame on your grief. It doesn’t matter that your co-worker got over her grief in two months. Or that your neighbor seems so put together six months after her husband died. Your grief is your own. You’ll take as much time as you need.
- Love all your feelings. Anger, guilt, fear, and sadness are not meant to be pushed away. Can you just love them when they show up? ‘Loving them’ means accepting them instead of hating them.
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