"Triggers" As Opportunities to Grieve
Last winter, one of our mama bunnies happened to give birth the night of a cold snap. Temperatures plummeted to well below freezing, and despite being housed in the barn, and having worked diligently to pack her nesting box full of hay, all of her eight babies died by morning.
I found their sweet little bodies huddled together, still soft, but cold and beginning to turn blue. The mama sat just outside the nesting box, unmoving, as if she wasn’t quite sure what to do with herself.
Finding this sad scene brought up a lot of grief for me, as a bereaved mother. And as anyone who is grieving can tell you, these painful “triggers” are plentiful.
You Have to Feel It to Heal It
With grief, the only way “out” is through. And I put “out” in parenthesis because we don’t ever really "make it out" of grief. The losses we have experienced, and the love we have for what or whom we have lost, become an integral part of who we are. But grief does change with time.
Grief is much like a physical wound which actively bleeds at first, but then forms a scab and eventually a scar. We will always love our person, we will always grieve their absence, but with time our grief-wound begins to slowly heal. The hurt is still there, but our experience of it and our relationship with it continually evolves.
In the days, weeks, months, and years directly following our loss it's much easier to grieve, because we don't have a whole lot of choice! Our grief is so big and so powerful that we can’t help but acknowledge and feel it. But as we get further into our grief journey, it's much easier to push our grief to the side.
Societally, we place a large premium on being able to get back to “normal” as soon as possible. We are rewarded for ignoring our grief, pushing onward, and never looking back. But as with most things in life, grieving well is about finding some kind of balance. Continuing to live after experiencing deep loss is about constantly navigating the complex experience of having a foot in two different worlds: the world of the living and the world of the dead. To do this skillfully takes practice and intentionality.
Tips for Turning Toward Grief
- Practice labeling grief when it comes up inside of you. “I’m feeling grief right now” or, “Hello there, grief.”
- How does your body tell you when you are feeling grief? Is it a lump or ache in your throat? Tightness or heat in your face? Does your heart rate speed up? Familiarize yourself with your unique experience of grief.
- Think of grief as an expression of love, and as something sacred that deserves attention, time, and space.
- Set the intention to consciously tend to your grief by creating space to simply sit and feel it when it arises (even if this is just a few deep breaths before continuing on with your day).
Looking for an Online Therapist in Kansas?
Do you need a safe, supportive place to grieve? Do you want to heal your relationship with your emotions or your body?
My Lawrence, Kansas counseling practice specializes in providing grief and bereavement counseling, along with therapy for highly sensitive adults, therapy for self-esteem, therapy for anxiety, and therapy for codependency.
Through counseling I help people overcome shame and the fear of being their true selves. Breaking the cycles of people-pleasing and self-abandonment is possible, and I'm here to help. I offer online therapy throughout the state of Kansas.
Reach out today to schedule your free 15 minute phone consultation, I'd love to hear from you!
Other Services Offered by Maggie
In addition to providing online therapy anywhere in Kansas, I’m also a professional astrologer, and offer Birth Chart Readings anywhere in the United States, as well as abroad.
Astrology is a powerful tool for gaining self-awareness, finding meaning in and understanding of our difficult experiences, and for receiving validation regarding our own unique life path. All of which supports our mental health in a positive way!
Interested in getting a Natal Chart Reading? Book a free phone consultation and let’s get started!