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Navigating Loss in a Grief Avoidant World

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

A crisis of our times, grief is everywhere, and yet no one is talking about it. We walk around, feeling it deeply in our bones, in our psyche, and yet we don't have the spaces, the language and the tools to navigate it with deep reverence for the moving force that it is in our lives.


The way we navigate pain, hardship, loss, change and transition isn't working.


We have been sold the narrative that we need to do more, be more, go bigger, expand and then expand again, without riding the full wave of the journey. We are half-assing everything we do, and then we wonder why we feel incomplete, fragmented, stuck and unfulfilled.


We aren't fully here, we aren't fully anywhere. We have one foot here, and one foot elsewhere, keeping us separated, split in two. Not only does this prevent the full cycle of transition, it's also exhausting and depletes our energy and life force.


The way we’ve been doing it, isn’t working.


We are living in a critical time, things are changing, and they are changing fast. We are changing and evolving at faster rates than ever before. We need grief work to ground ourselves as we find our way through the wilderness of change and transition, otherwise we will continue to feel incomplete, fragmented, disconnected, and not fully alive to our lives.


We live in a society and a modern world that encourages us to push away death and avoid talking about grief. We're encouraged to move on and expected to get back to normal as quickly as possible. Because of this, our internal experiences continue to go unaddressed and unsupported, leading to an increase in emotional and physical challenges that can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing.


I continue to talk about the things that are hard to talk about because I believe its necessary. I believe that grief work is part of life, it's part of our human experiences. I believe that being truthful about the grief we are carrying and experiencing is essential and life giving.

Before I lost, I had no idea how grief would impact me on every level of my being and in every single corner of my life. Grief is painful. Loss is devastating. And we will continue to live on and take brave steps forward every day.


I talk about these things because they matter, and each and every one of us will be confronted with grief at some point or another (my guess is you have already met grief.. the next step is actually making space for grief).


I envision a world where…

  • Grief processing is a foundational skill to human-ing, and in doing anything brave in this world (because there is, and always will be grief along the way, even in our biggest and best expansions).

  • We each remember and (re)connect to our aliveness (aka the wilderness within), and show up freely and fully.

  • We are radically honestly about the truth of where we’re at and how we’re feeling (VS shutting down, suppressing, and checking out).

  • Knowing how to be with yourself, others, and the world when the tough stuff hits (because it does, and it will) without collapsing under the weight of it all.

  • Grief is a normal part of our conversations, and we no longer run from it - but rather turn towards it.


Woman lying in the grass, blog post description
Navigating Grief in a Death Avoidant World

"Grief becomes problematic when the conditions needed to help us work with grief are absent" – Francis Weller

01. TURN TOWARDS GRIEF WORK


Navigating death in a grief avoidant world can be a difficult challenge. It can be easy to feel alone and isolated when faced with the loss of a loved one. The best way to cope with grief is to create a support network of people who understand and can relate to your experience. Reach out to family, friends, and other people who have faced similar losses, or seek out a grief counsellor or therapist who can hold space for you, and your grief.


02. ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL


It's important to allow yourself to experience your emotions without judgement. Take time to acknowledge the grief, sadness, and other emotions that come with loss. Allow yourself to mourn and fully express your emotions. If fear, judgement or criticism find their way to the surface and block you from expressing yourself - it might be time to reach out for support. Remember, everyone grieves in their own way and there is no wrong way to do it.


03. EMBODIED EXPRESSION


It may be helpful to explore creative and embodied ways to express your emotions such as writing, art, yoga, dance, or meditation. Download this free guide for helpful strategies to release trapped emotions.


03. RITUAL


Find a meaningful way to remember loved ones, connect to yourself and your grief is essential and life giving. Whether it’s creating a memorial, writing a letter, or sharing a meaningful story, find a way to remember and to be present with the fullness of our human experience is the recipe for living a full and wholehearted life.


Explore the Ritual Vault (coming soon - sign up for email updates and be the first to know when it releases).


04. BE GENTLE, MOVE SLOWLY


This might be the last thing you want hear. I know moving slowly through something painful feels counterintuitive because ideally, we want to be out and through it as fast as possible however thats often not how it works. The faster we go, the longer it takes. If you can allow yourself to move slowly and go at the rhythm of nature (rather than the processing speed of a computer) you will get to where you want to go, in a way that honours your own pace.


One of my favourite affirmations and reminders of this practice is: "I only go as fast as the slowest part of me wants to go". If you held this truth, how fast would you go? Where can you downshift?


"When we tend to grief at the rhythm and pace of nature, we retrun to our natural and life giving way of being" – Hayley Yarish


05. TAKE GENTLE CARE


Take care of yourself. It's important to take care of yourself and your physical and mental health during this time. Take time to rest, and focus on activities that bring you comfort and joy. Make sure to get plenty of rest, move your body in some way daily, and provide your body nourishment and nutrients through the foods and supplements you consume.


06. EXPLORE YOUR GRIEVING PROCESS


A large part of any grief processing is about exploring and getting to know all parts of ourselves, and how grief changes us. I created the Grief Archetypes Quiz to support grievers in exploring the ways in which they naturally lean into their grieving process and to provide support and insight into identifying challenges that may get in the way.


Take the quiz to discover your Grieving Archetype today.


IN SERVICE OF YOUR ALIVENESS


Honouring your grief in a world that wants to shut it out, is a revolutionary act. I see you taking those brave steps forward, and I celebrate you as you bear the unbearable, make space for your grief, and open up to the wisdom of your soul.


If you are curious about exploring your next steps, book a consultation here. I can't wait to connect with you.



 


>> To learn more, download Being with Grief, our Soulful and Regenerative Pathway for Navigating Grief and the Most Uncertain Times [PDF workbook].



>> If you found this blog post helpful, we would love it if you considered sharing it on social media to help others who might benefit from these perspectives so that together we can create a grief supportive world.



About the Author:


Hayley Yarish is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), Grief Therapist, Compassionate Bereavement Care Provider, and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®. She specializes in supporting individuals who are navigating loss and grief of any kind. Her own experiences with grief and loss have cracked her heart wide open and led her to doing this sacred work in the world.


Specific areas of focus: death of a loved one (recent or past), life changing transitions, relationship transitions and break ups, pregnancy loss, grief around family planning, and supporting entrepreneurs through the grief that comes with growth.


To learn more about Hayley or to book a session with her, click here.



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