How to Cope and Work Through the Grief Process

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working through the process of grief

Hi my BLUSH BABES. Today we’re going to be working through the tough process of grief. Would you be surprised if I told you that EVERYONE is working through the stages of grief right now?

Yes, I said everyone.

Okay, okay… I’ll be the one to say it – 2020 has been a b****.

Most, if not all, of us have experienced grief at some point or another in our lives. Life is filled with changes, transitions, and various levels of loss. Loss can shake us to our core and can most definitely disrupt any sense of feeling grounded, balanced, or in control.

Regardless of the loss, I think we can all connect on the feeling of what it’s like to lose something that is so special to us… a relationship, a marriage, a loved one, a job, our freedom. Grief can look different for everyone, but I think it will be helpful to work through the process, in hopes that some of you will feel validated in what you’re experiencing right now.

A few things inspired me to write this post. The first one being that 2020 has been a year filled with grief for me.

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In early march, I had a miscarriage… and I was GUTTED.

As someone who has ALWAYS wanted to become a mama, this was quite literally my worst nightmare…especially after going through a round of IVF (in-vitro fertilization). I have experienced pain and loss before but it was NOTHING compared to the pain of a miscarriage.

And then, well, Covid-19 hit. For lack of a better word, I was a MESS.

I cried A LOT, had days where I couldn’t get out of bed, lost motivation, and quite frankly, questioned a lot about life and my journey. 

Before we dive into the stages of grief, let’s go over some common myths about grief.

Myths About Grief

  • The pain will go away faster if you ignore it
  • Grief should last about a year
  • Grief is an emotional reaction
  • Grievers are best left alone
  • Grieving means letting go completely
  • We slowly and predictably recover from grief
  • Grief finally ends

Facts About Grief

  • Ignoring your pain will only make it worse. For real healing, it is necessary to face your grief head on and actively deal with it
  • There is NO right or wrong time frame for grieving. How long it takes can vary from person to person
  • Grief is manifested in MANY ways
  • Grievers need opportunities to share their memories and grief, and they need SUPPORT!
  • Grief is an uneven process, an emotional roller coaster with no timeline
  • Overtime, most people learn to live with loss

The Stages of Grief

Grief has 3 overarching stages, which are:

  1. Shock
  2. Disorganization
  3. Reorganization

When you’re in shock, you can’t really quite grasp what has happened to you. It kinda feels like you are trapped in a nightmare and so desperately want to wake up.

Grief really starts when you hit the disorganization stage. This is where shit just falls apart. Everything seems unbalanced and you’re living in chaos. Both of these stages don’t have timelines, so you really just have to ride the waves when you’re chugging through this process.

When you hit the reorganization stage, that is where healing can start to begin. You can start adapting to life and navigating what your “new normal” is.

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Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief

  1. Denial
    1. This is where you deny the news and can have a feeling of numbness. Denial and shock actually help you survive and grief event by not overwhelming you with all the feelings at once.
  2. Anger
    1. This is where reality hits you right in the face. You might be having thoughts like “why me?” and “this isn’t fair”. You may begin to question life and your journey and might project your anger on those around you, as a way of coping.
  3. Bargaining
    1. This is where desperation hits. You would do ANYTHING to go back to life before the grief event. You’re trying to frantically negotiate things in your head as a desperate attempt toward normalcy.
  4. Depression
    1. When we think of grief, we think of depression. The overwhelming sadness. Realizing there is nothing you can do to change the circumstances. This is where things get REAL. You may withdraw from life, you may lose interest in things, you’re NOT okay.
  5. Acceptance
    1. This is the last emotion in the grief. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re OKAY with what happened, but you can come to some sense of peace about it. This is where you know that you WILL be okay in time and you’re giving yourself grace to let the grief process take you where you need to go.

Now that you have a better idea of what the grief process is like, it’s time to MAKE A PLAN!!!!

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Coping with Grief

  • Be kind to yourself
  • Ask for what you need
  • Identify three people who will let you grief the way you wish to grieve and who have your best interests at heart
  • Allow time for rest and grieving
  • Drink a lot of water
    • A grief event triggers an excess release of Cortisol, or the stress hormone. By staying hydrated you can be sure that you’re giving your body the extra boost to flush those extra hormones out
  • Eliminate unnecessary stress
  • Express your feelings
    • Journaling is a GREAT way to process by using the heart/mind connection
  • Watch out for unhealthy coping techniques
    • Such as overindulgence
  • Be aware – your greatest happiness may come in doing something for someone else

Hopefully this helped some of you out there who are knee deep in the grieving process. Remind yourself that it is OKAY to not be OKAY right now. AND that I am always here for you!!

If you are having a hard time processing through these emotions on your own, know that you don’t need to carry that burden by yourself. Reach out, get some outside help!!

I also wanted to attach this link to  this grief visual that is SO helpful in understanding how people can be triggered by grief!

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