imgres (18)Imagine an oil tanker crawling up the Mississippi river or pulling into the San Francisco Bay.  A big thing like an oil tanker needs a big space to pass through.  It will get stuck otherwise.  In shallow water, an oil tanker needs to be very carefully piloted to pass through.  Grief can be a big emotion with a lot of energy, like an oil tanker of the heart!  Grief also needs an open space to pass through – and sometimes that’s not easy.

Grief is natural.  Faced with overwhelming losses (a parent, a spouse, family member, a marriage/relationship, or a career), we naturally want to hold on to what is lost.  This holding on is natural, yet the energy can get embedded internally.  This gives the feeling of being ‘stuck’ and unable to move in some important way.  It can become extremely burdensome.

imgres (9)What is needed is sensitive attention, compassion, understanding, and a certain amount of relaxation.  These big feelings can move, and as they do, you will learn a such valuable things about yourself and about life!  Grief, given a safe space, can emerge and resolve itself.  Many people need help to develop and hold this bigger, deeper space can make sense – life situations can conspire to keep you too busy to give your feelings the time of day.  Likewise many of us come from backgrounds or cultures which are not supportive of feelings and might encourage us to avoid grief.  There is no shame in needing some support to move through what are often some of the most challenging emotional experiences of life.

Grieving often goes through many steps – denial, anger, depression.  But the process can end with a feeling of wholeness and gratitude.  Don’t miss that last step; it is very valuable and enriching!  Many people never complete the process, and remain stuck fighting against it for years or a lifetime – a losing battle that drains the energy and vitality out of life.   If you are dealing with some form of grief that feels stuck, whether with friends, another therapist, or myself – make sure you get support so you can move through it and come to relief and resolution.   It will be so helpful to you.