Are you stuck, distracted, confused or lonely?
Does it feel like your heart will never heal?
Although it might not feel like it right now, it is actually possible to recover from the emotional pain of a significant or traumatic death. Grief is the normal and natural emotional response to losing someone who was significant in your life – it could be someone you loved dearly or someone you had a difficult relationship with or resented.
Unfortunately, through social conditioning, most of us have lost our natural ability to deal with grief. Grief can involve strong, scary and unpredictable emotions including feeling numb – and generally, society is uncomfortable with this. Generally you’re discouraged from talking openly when things are not going well so you end up saying “I’m fine”.
If you do pluck up the courage to tell people you’re feeling sad, down or overwhelmed by a bereavement, they say: “Let go and move on”. But they don’t tell you how. You may then end up avoiding, ignoring, burying or distracting yourself from sadness, anger, confusion and other ‘negative’ or difficult emotions that arise during grief.
A really common response to grief is to ‘think positive’ and ‘get on with life’. You keep busy and every time you experience a disappointment or loss, you close off a part of our heart. Gradually you build a wall around your heart which means that you can’t live fully. Generally, you get away with this – that is, until you experience another major loss or a series of losses which may leave you feeling overwhelmed, full of doubt, lost, anxious or without hope.
That’s what happened to our founder, Joules Chan, who was unaware that she had been wearing a “I’m coping” mask for over 34 years. She’s shared her story on this site to inspire other grievers to face their grief and to take action to recover – because it is possible to recover.