What is Grief

Grief is the natural response to loss; it is the emotional feedback one experiences when something or someone is taken from us. Every single one of us has or will experience loss in our lives. Losses can include a death of a loved one, divorce, the loss of a dream, bankruptcy, betrayal, etc. Most of us have not taken the time to mourn what we have lost because our toolbox is full of misinformation and self defeating cultural norms.

Misinformation stunts the healing process and encourages quick fixes, preventing the full integration of our experiences, leaving most of us stuck in our pain and not even knowing it. The conflicting opinions in the field of science as to how to best deal with grief only make it more difficult to navigate an otherwise natural process.

Some of the symptoms of Grief are:

• Overwhelm (physical & emotional)

• Isolation

• Depression (sadness, emotional pain)

• Anger (reactivity)

• Numbing (alcohol, drugs, tv, social media, sex, prescription medication, etc)

• Geographical relocation

• Disease

• Suicidal thoughts

Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, and frustration… a way to purge pent up emotions.
Our bodies produce three kinds of tears: reflex, continuous, & emotional. Each kind has different healing roles.
Humans are the only creatures known to shed emotional tears, though it’s possible that elephants and gorillas do too.

What You May Not Know


“Avoidance is not in my vocabulary.”

– Sue Wong

Ways to Heal

Although it seems counterintuitive, the only way out of our grief is through it. It’s no different than fleeing a burning house, in order to get to freedom you have to risk being burned. We have to be willing to experience our brokenness and in some cases to lose more of what we have already lost. As we allow ourselves to be with this process, to be with the truth of what we feel, to allow the burn, we begin to shed the layers of judgement, shame and blame that are in between us and our freedom.

As a culture we have distanced ourselves significantly from what it means to heal, from what it means to take care of ourselves. Some of us don’t even consider how to take care of ourselves because we are inundated with meeting the needs and demands of others. Sometimes our need for love and approval is so intense that we are willing to support everyone, except ourselves. Wanting love and approval is totally natural, but the selling of ourselves to get it is dangerous territory.

The journey of healing is a journey of trial and error. It is a risk versus reward scenario. We have to be willing to go beyond our comfort zone, try new things, make mistakes, and risk losing what is most dear to us. Some of us were taught variations of this concept in school, as it relates to our emotional health and

personal freedom.

Remember when your dad told you there is no shortcut to success, fortunately he was right. It’s just that his version of success is probably very different from yours and likely didn’t include the notion of healing anything.

The degree to which you are willing to dive into the unexplored areas of yourself is the degree to which you will experience permanent growth and healing. Below is a list of creative ideas and healing modalities that have supported us on our healing journey.

Body work: Our bodies store both physical and emotional pain. If we can get into the nooks and crannies of our physical body it can help to release us emotionally.

Forgiveness/Acceptance exercises: “I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that I am unworthy.” “I accept my circumstances as they are and choose to see them as an opportunity to learn and grow.”

Psychotherapy: A  good therapist relieves us of having to depend solely on our friends and family.

Treatment Centers/Group Therapy: Observing the vulnerability & courage of others is a powerful way to gain perspective.

Group Meditation: What is challenging alone can be inspiring and uplifting when done together.

Plant Medicine: Believe it or not, plants have many things to teach us.

Yoga/Exercise: A good sweat is sometimes just as effective as a session of therapy.

Travel: Experiencing other cultures give us the chance to see how people do things differently than we do.

Freeform Writing: Sit down & write. Don’t think about, literally, just put pen to paper. Whatever comes out is a release from your conscious/unconscious mind. Do it for 10 minutes if you can.

Food/Fluids: What you choose to put in your body has a profound effect on your emotional wellbeing. Stay away from sugar. Focus on green alive foods. Drink very good water.