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  • Jack Graves

My Grief Is Killing Me

Updated: Jan 15





Disclaimer: This blog post is proudly sponsored by Mindvalley, but all opinions are my own. Mindvalley is the largest online personal growth platform in the world. Choose from hundreds of personal growth programs and transformative content taught by brilliant minds, with results that stick. Mindvalley's mission is to create personal transformation that raises human consciousness. As a Mindvalley affiliate, we may receive compensation, if you purchase products or services through the links provided, at no extra cost to you. This helps support the running of the blog.



With the pandemic raging ever stronger - it feels like we all have, or at least know someone, who has experienced loss; one of the most painful and difficult experiences in the cornucopia of human emotion.


Especially painful is the death of a family member, partner or friend. In some cases, it can lead us to such mental anguish that seems to overcome us, engulf us, and leave us drowning in sorrow.

Etymologically, the word “grief” comes from French which means hardship, suffering, pain; a bodily affliction. Grief is a natural human process through which we seek a way to adapt to a loss that is understood as irreversible. It can occur after the loss of a loved one, but also after the loss of love, a job, health, an opportunity or an illusion that we harbor or even after the loss of the place where we used to live.

The grieving process opens a necessary transition period that allows us to gather ourselves to assimilate a reality that appears to us as new and very scary. The time grieving serves as a necessary reboot and rebuilt to be able to continue on this path without what has been lost.

Emotional Grief


In the first moments, a range of emotions appears, among with sadness, anger and helplessness are common. Feelings of confusion and disbelief are also prevalent. At this time, personal and social rituals and acts of farewell allow ordering the emotional chaos and facilitate the transition from anguish to grief. The initial anguish and bewilderment give way to grief and sadness with the help of rituals and personal and social acts.

After a loss, the thoughts, emotions and behaviour of those facing this loss are often erratic. Often this imbalance of emotion can manifest in the form of anxiety. Symptoms such as palpitations, chest tightness, headache or upset stomach are common after-effects of grief and loss. These symptoms of anxiety can also be exhibited in the form of mood swings and irritability.

The intensity of the changes that appear on a physical, emotional and mental level are usually proportional to the importance of the loss suffered. It is so, so important to give yourself permission to feel and express how losing something affects us and to be patient and compassionate with ourselves as we move on. There are no right or wrong feelings right now. This attitude will also help us to better help those around us when they have suffered a loss and not “be in a hurry” for them to recover.


We need to allow ourselves to feel and express how the loss we have suffered affects us.

You'll Never Walk Alone


As the grief progresses, it is common for moments of connecting with the pain for what we have lost and moments of distraction in which we continue with our lives in a normal way. As time passes, both emotional states tend to balance. What can be harmful is to remain anchored in one of the two: pain or indifference.


It is common for people to move towards recovery on our own with the support of our closest ones. When everything is going well, the initial anguish usually transforms over time into gratitude for time spent with our deceased loved ones and acceptance of their passing. These duels are usually overcome without treatment.


Phases Of Grief


There are many classifications of the stages of grief, and also almost as many as authors (Parkes, L. Bowly-West, Bowly, Leick and Davidsen-Nielsen, etc.) to name just a few. We will focus on the one that appears in the latest edition of Kaplan's Treatise on Psychiatry, which divides the normal grieving process into three phases, which can be superimposed, (basically, not requiring the complete completion of one stage to move on to the next)


  • Shock and denial phase: feelings of denial and shock on the realisation of loss. We use this as a defence mechanism, to protect ourselves from the force of a truth we imagine will be too shattering for us to cope with.

  • Phase of acute anguish and isolation: begins when the sufferer realizes the futility of the previous feelings and behaviors. This acute phase can last for weeks or months, gradually giving way to an improvement in mood and outlook and the possibility of moving on.

  • Reorganization phase: the griefer assumes the true meaning of the loss and its extension, marking the beginning of this new stage in which they can continue with their previous life: they return to work, assume their previous roles start moving past this monumental loss.


When To Ask For Help?

When should we start thinking of reaching out for help in dealing with our grief? Well, when the usual symptoms persist for many, many months or are manifested in such an intense manner that they prevent the person from continuing with their life. It occurs, for example, when there is excessive guilt regarding what happened and the person experiences a betrayal to continue moving forward with their affairs. Continuing to refuse to accept the loss, anchoring in anger, idealizing what was lost or sinking into paralyzing fear can be other signs that the process is not progressing as it should be expected.


These and other situations may require treatment by a specialist to help the person work through the accumulated loss or losses. Psychological therapy can help you find strength in the grief of loss and turn saying goodbye into learning.


Disclaimer: This blog post is proudly sponsored by Mindvalley, but all opinions are my own. Mindvalley is the largest online personal growth platform in the world. Choose from hundreds of personal growth programs and transformative content taught by brilliant minds, with results that stick. Mindvalley's mission is to create personal transformation that raises human consciousness. As a Mindvalley affiliate, we may receive compensation, if you purchase products or services through the links provided, at no extra cost to you. This helps support the running of the blog.

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