More about Grief

Last month on Kirby’s Birthday, I wrote about the myth many have about needing to “move on” when grieving a significant loss.   Grieving is not comfortable, never someone’s chosen path and yet each of us has losses due to deaths, illnesses or life-changing events that create chaos and turmoil.  A sudden, traumatic death will erupt a tsunami of painful emotions.  The loss of a job, a house fire,  a negative health diagnosis, an unexpected tragedy will bring up anger, fear, depression, and feelings of being overwhelmed.   When we are sad, mourning losses and feeling lost, we sometimes hide, deny our feelings or just want to learn how to make those emotions go away.

Ed Preston, a great supporter of SEEK and the founder of The Grief & Trauma Resource Center, has an online directory to provide healthy, accurate information about grief and trauma.

In a blog post on his site:,  Ed shared that in his own grief journey he had:

spent way too much money on all sorts of worthless alternative therapies that promised to “rewire” my brain for joy. I endured New Age “shamanic” ceremonies, sweat lodges, rebirthing and soul retrieval that were supposed to remove “the spirit of sadness” that had “attached” itself to me. But none of them were able to provide the cure they all promised, and most of it was just a waste of money…

Ed went on to say,

Studies by clinical psychologists like George Bonanno at Columbia University (author of “The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss”) show that we’re much more resilient than the self-help books give us credit for. We’re actually designed to grieve. The real problem is we’ve forgotten how, which of course means we’ve also forgotten how at companion those who are grieving.

Ed’s insights into healthy grieving and how to help those who are suffering loss are wonderfully real and practical, exploding the western phobia about sadness and death.  I know when someone is suffering, they are often desperate for quick, immediate relief.  It is with this understanding that SEEK cautions people to understand their own vulnerabilities when seeking help and learn what has been proven to be truly helpful to heal the troubled soul.  Psychologically healthy approaches are often journeys (not sprints) which require learning,  patience, forgiveness and the acquiring of new thought patterns and skills.  Be wary of the promise of a quick, immediate fix to stop your sadness.  Grieving actually has an important place in our lives.  It must be embraced and understood not as an evil, but an experience of our humanity to develop compassion and an opportunity to grow in love.

Read Ed’s full blog here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *