Values are like the North Star. In the night’s sky, the North Star is nearly still as the northern sky moves around it. For this reason, the North Star can be used as an old school way of navigation. Getting to know your values is about finding direction and your life’s purpose, finding your True North. Take a moment to reflect on the relationships or practices in your life that keep you steady when things in life threaten to uproot you. (Forsyth & Eifert, 2018)
Grief therapy can be a lot of things at different moments. Many people talk about the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In fact, there’s a whole theory on the stages of grief by psychiatrist Kubler-Ross. She is famous for naming and outlining 5 grief stages.
This theory is great starting place to understanding grief, but it does not capture the multilayered experience of grief and loss
I remember several years ago, sitting with my coworkers, all cis-gender women, waiting for our work meeting to start. My coworkers were asking each other about their spouses and how their children were doing in school. I asked a couple of my coworkers how their heterosexual spouses were and how their children were. When the meeting started, I realized no one had asked me about my partner, how she was doing, what we were planning for the weekend. No one had reciprocated to acknowledge my family.
As I type, the snow is beginning to fall. The air is mostly still with a gentle breeze that moves the bare trees outside my window. I look up again, and the wind picks up and the power lines sway, and then they stop as the wind fades.
A storm is coming.
Another day. Another storm.
Today, I am watching the wind and clouds both wearily and with hope as this weather pattern moves into the front range. I feel dread and tension in my back, “What will happen next?” I feel hope in the relaxing of my eyes, “This should put out the fires.”
In the last 7 days, the Front Range of Colorado has experienced at least two tragedies that have abruptly taken away loved ones and uprooted tens of thousands. I had hoped to write a final blog post for 2021 that did not have to do with grief…
But here we are.
Welcome back to Part 3 in this series, How To cope With Grief. Previously in this series, we looked at what grief is, the importance of having supportive people in your life, and how to name the many emotions related to grief.
In this part of the series, we will look at and practice the skill of being curious and acknowledging the different aspects of grief at any given moment.