Uncertainty | Why + How to Grieve

"There is no grief like the grief that does not speak."  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


 

Back in March, Harvard Business Review published an extremely insightful and relevant article, “That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief.”  I remember reading it and feeling both grateful and surprised that, only a few weeks into the throes of a global pandemic, we were already naming the reality of grief.  And at that time, I don’t know if we had any idea just how much and how varied our collective and individual grief would be.

 

In the midst of any kind of change and uncertainty, I believe we are guaranteed to find grief.  The change could be exciting and uplifting, such as getting a new job, starting a new relationship or welcoming a child into a family.  But grief is always there:  the new job might mean the loss of free time, the new relationship could bring the loss of a kind of independence, the new child most certainly means sacrifice and adjustments.  And if the change is something discouraging, like losing a job or a relationship or a loved one, then I bet we can easily imagine the grief that accompanies those situations.

 

From my experience (both personally and professionally), I believe that if we don’t continually and intentionally grieve what is changing in and around us, we will be blocked from growth, healing and fulfillment.  Unprocessed grief leaves us frozen in time, in resentment, in fear or in pain.  

 

Let me suggest one way of working through grief (thanks to Linsey Wildey for this grief process):

In the image above, we start on the left-hand side with the “grief event.”  A grief event may be a singular event, or it could be a series of events, a relationship lost, a dream that crumbled, etc.  It’s helpful to choose something specific that you want to consider as you process your grief.

 

Then we follow the downward trajectory, symbolizing the descent of death/decomposition/decline.  Feel free to use the questions and prompts provided to be as honest as you can be about your grief.  All things must die in some way in order for something new to emerge.  

 

It’s in this place of dormancy and decomposition that we find the seeds of something new.  And this starts from acceptance.  What do you sense emerging as you accept your loss, your change, the way that life is now?  What new things are growing and coming to the surface?  Even if you name something that seems so simple, like gratitude for the sun coming up every morning, that is a place to start. 

 

In this with you,

Alair

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Come in- how can I help?

Some different options about where we can start

Couple's Therapy

 

Understanding why we are disconnected and alone, and creating new ways of being with each other

Individual Therapy

 

Letting go of what needs to be released and discovering what needs to be found

Family Therapy

 

Learning new ways to care for family, and for kids and teens to share with their parents

 

Play Therapy

 

Helping kids explore and put words to their own world



sit and stay a while

Some thoughts I share on "Rooted + Grounded"

 

 

Rhythms:  Presence + Distraction

 

 "I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen."

- Anne Lamott


in the neighborhood

Some helpful resources in the nearby and virtual community

Spring + Summer Camps

San Diego Family Magazine

 

"Browse through your San Diego Spring/Summer Camps and Programs Guide to find awesome experiences where kids will learn new skills and make lifelong memories. Do you have an artist, scientist or future veterinarian in the family? Now's the time to plan an epic camp adventure."


 

Alair Olson, M.A.

 Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT#86504)

858.634.0302 | therapy@alairolson.com