Grief doesn’t happen in a vacuum. it happens along side of and mixed in with all these other emotions.
Grief and mourning are the emotional feelings we experience when someone or something in our life is irretrievably lost to us. Most commonly we think of a family member or close friend who has died.
Its when someone we love deeply is taken away from us and we don’t know what to do with those love feelings anymore. They have been literally torn away from us and we are fractured, oozing from our broken hearts.
Death and grief are something we all experience in our lives. If we are lucky enough to love fully, we may experience it many times. It is as inevitable as death itself….the companion emotion to death.
Because it can be so uncomfortable and it is an emotion, you’d think that grief would be something that we could resolve using the Emotional Resolution (EmRes) protocol. But in fact that’s not true. Grief is a process. It is a series of emotions that must be navigated. There are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. By working thru these emotions in mourning, we will once again reach an emotional equilibrium when it’s complete. The mourning process usually takes 3-4 months. There is way to short-cut this healing.
These experiences of grief, that mark us and make us are just as important as the joyful ones and just a permanently. Grief is a multitasking emotions where you will be sad and happy, you will be grieving and able to love in the same year or week, the same breath.
At the same time, grief is not a form of depression
“Some people conflate the terms grief and depression. They are not the same. Both infuse our lives with sadness, and both cause disruption, but the similarity ends there. Depression is a mental disorder. Grief is not. Bereaved people are sad because they miss a person they love, a person who added light and color and warmth to their world. They feel like the light has been turned off and they aren’t sure how to turn it on again. Depressed people are sad because they see themselves and/or the world as fundamentally flawed, inadequate, or worthless. They feel like the world has no light or color or warmth. There is no light to turn on.” 
Grief can inflate other emotional conflicts and issues that are already present in a person. Existing anger, abandonment, loneliness, self-doubt, fear and depression compounded with mourning can work to overwhelm any emotional processing. Put in terms we are more familiar with: think of a cut on your finger being grief and existing anger being an infection on the skin. The body/emotional system could handle either alone, but together, we’d have an infection in the cut. This situation is more complicated and both contribute to the slower overall healing. Usually we take care of the infection first and the cut will take care of itself.
The unresolved emotions that predate grief can slow down progress thru the 5 stages. As mentioned before, grief is not a candidate for emotional resolution, BUT those preexisting emotions are definitely contenders.
Working on preexisting emotions is an excellent way to allow the grieving process to move along it’s necessary path more normally.
It’s not a hard and fast rule, but if grief extends beyond 6 months there are other emotions complicating the mourning process. Do your self a favor: find a professional and a resolution them with Emotional Resolution. You will be glad you did.
I want to end this blog with a client story: Betsy [not her real name] had lost her dearly beloved husband 2 year before. Within 2 months of his death, she also lost her precious dog. One would have been a lot, but two so close together was overwhelming. Two years later, she was still crying every time she looked at their pictures. She had pictures around her house because she wanted to remember them. She didn’t mind the crying. She wanted to remember her husband and dog. But her friends thought it was too much and constantly bugged her about it, that she needed put away the pictures and move on. We resolved her crying when she looked at the pictures. At her next visit, she came in all smiles. She hadn’t cried at all since her last visit. Now she could happily look at the pictures and remember the good times and how much she loved them. She was so happy 🙂
Obviously this is my favorite grief client story. I’ve worked with other clients and their emotions that are holding up their mourning process. Usually it takes more that just the one session that Betsy had. But every time, they get relief from emotion that is troubling them.
Are you ready to put grief behind you and happily remember the good times?