“My grief therapist told me to put all my feelings of loss and sadness in a box and put it away- figuratively and literally. She thought I needed to take down pictures and just remove reminders of the lost people I’m missing and grieving –which I felt terrible about. Forgetting them is exactly what I don’t want.”
That message from a grief client the other day. I was horrified. It goes against all we know about processing grief–or any feeling. Take down pictures? Lock away memories? Stuff the feelings? Bad advice. That grief therapist should have known better.
When someone close to us dies, it’s important to let ourselves feel the loss. Let the emotions out however we need to. Sometimes it’s not pretty (I should know– am such an ugly crier.) But if we try to push the feelings of loss and grief away they’re just going to pop up someplace else some other time.
The reason the client wrote was to order two more Guided Journals through Grief, for family members, because she found it was far more helpful in processing her grief than that therapist was.
“I definitely cried a little writing in the journal but it was out of relief knowing that I’m not broken. I just didn’t see things the way that therapist did. You truly did an amazing job with that journal– I got more help in a few pages than a few therapy sessions and that means something in my book because I’m a big believer in therapy when you have the right fit with the right therapist. I will definitely keep in touch, you have helped me so much and I know it’ll help my family, as well.”
The Guided Journal through Grief works because it allows users to access all the feelings associated with the loved one who has transitioned–joy, sadness, happiness, grief–and to air them in a safe place. Some people do like to write. Others prefer to draw in the journal or even make little collages.
The prompt on each page is meant to help you explore your feelings, process them and in time, be able to look back at your relationship with your loved one with joy. To honor your grief. And your loved one.
That does not happen when you lock everything away.
Know also that active grief takes as long as it takes. Grief, itself, never goes away. I actively grieved my mother for two long, hard years. I grieved my beloved grandfather so hard and long I had to pull the car over when tears overcame me. Same with my dear friend. And two and a half years later I still grieve my soulmate dog, although not with the overwhelming emotion I first felt.
If you haven’t encountered a tool like the Guided Journal through Grief you may not immediately see its benefit. But grieving customers do see it and they all say the same thing: it helps them with their grief.
It is a beautiful condolence gift, either by itself or part of our two condolence gift packages. All reasonably priced, because that’s how I roll. It might be the most thoughtful, helpful thing you can do for yourself, or a grieving loved one.
Also, please know this:
I’m always happy to talk with you by phone or answer questions by email to help you figure out what might be the best tools for you.
Just send email or schedule a call.