Community//

Coping with Grief in the time of Coronavirus

As our world has been turned upside down, learn how to move through grief to a point of acceptance and possibility.

From Loss to Acceptance. Opening the Doors to New Potential.

Our world was hit with massive change and loss over the past couple of weeks and months. We each are having our own experience with that loss, whether that be our loss of freedom, our work, stability, a loved one, our health and more. It’s common with any type of loss to go through the 5 stages of grief with the final goal of getting to a place of acceptance in your heart.

From this place of acceptance, we can tap into the endless new possibilities and opportunities available to us. It’s easy however to get stuck in some of the early stages of grief, holding us hostage to the overwhelming feelings of loss and despair.

What is important is to first and foremost honor your loss. Your loss is yours alone and your own experience. There is no point in comparing your loss to someone else’s to either minimize your feelings or to justify them. Take a moment to really be present and connect with the loss you feel and have awareness for it without any judgement.

Next, understand the 5 stages of grief and equip yourself with tools and support to be able to move through them to a place of acceptance. You are welcome to watch a video I made as well here.

What are the 5 stages?

Denial

Think of the early days of the virus spreading. Many communities and even countries were not so concerned about the spread of the virus because it was not impacting them yet. There might have been a sense of denial that this virus could ever impact us personally. Over the past weeks a lot of us have finally felt the personal impact. There might be some level of denial that the impact is as bad as it might appear or it’s easier to practice avoidance than actually deal with the impact at hand. The thing about denial is that it can never change the situation at hand. While we can choose to ignore something, the problem does not go away. The sooner we can look at the impact with full awareness, the sooner we can start to feel and process the emotions it might bring up.

Anger

Once the emotions from the loss or impact start to arise, anger is commonly the main emotion. After-all, we didn’t ask for this virus, we didn’t do anything wrong to deserve this impact or loss in our lives! It’s easy to get angry and try to blame someone for what we are experiencing. Yet, the more we can find a way to channel that anger into creative solutioning the better. Blame gets us nowhere, as it does not change the situation at hand as well. Holding anger and resentments depletes our energy, lowers our vibration, and encourages negative thought patterns that can block creativity and innovation. The positive energy from creating and elevating our vibration, on the other-hand, is what might be able to help us find a way through instead of remaining stuck.

Bargaining

As the reality of the loss sinks in a little more and the anger starts to fade, human nature goes into a habit of trying to bargain our way out of this unwanted situation. One might bargain with ourselves, others, or whatever higher being we believe in to get ourselves out of this loss or to make the pain stop. For example, “God, if you get me out of this situation, I promise to……” or “I will stay inside for two weeks if after that, I can ……”. This process is also exhausting precious energy and productive thinking that can prevent us from connecting with creative solutions and a sense of peace rather than overwhelming resistance to what is happening.

Depression

When the denial, anger, and bargaining tactics have all failed, we are left with the truth. This can trigger a huge sense of sadness and despair and put us in a state of depression. Here it is important to understand that we are not our depression, we are merely experiencing that emotion at the time. For example, knowing “I am feeling depressed,” rather than, “I am depressed.” Knowing this difference alone, can really help you move through this period without judgement and more compassion to yourself. If you are someone that regularly suffers from depression, I encourage you to seek support from a professional if you do not already. Having suffered from depression on and off throughout most of my adult life, it’s something I have had to learn to manage. I practice keeping my vibration high with movement, music, meditation, journaling, and reading books and articles that uplift me. I also keep track of my thoughts. When we have repetitive negative thoughts circulating daily it holds us in a negative energetic swirl and pattern. We must look at these thoughts with awareness and find a way to reframe them. For example, finding a way to shift the thought, “I will never get out of this situation,” to “change is the only constant, this situation will shift, creative solutions and opportunities are always available to me. Change is possible.” You might find it helpful to make a list of any negative thoughts you feel reoccurring and then in the column next to them write a positive shifting thought such as what I shared. This process gives you awareness and then gives you the control to shift and change the thought. It can be very empowering and liberating.

Acceptance

At last, we get to acceptance. From this place we enter a field of endless possibility. We are no longer held back by negative emotions and thinking, but rather have accepted what is and are ready to move forward and create a new future.

The reality is we may not go back to what was our norm. Our world has changed. From this place of acceptance we can look to creating a new future for ourselves in our new reality. It’s a place where we can be still and ask ourselves, what do we really want going forward, how can we move forward with the new state of things ?

In a state of acceptance we can look to our situation with full awareness and open ourselves for creative solutions and possibility. It’s a state where we can begin to welcome the change and expand our mindset to be able to navigate through the change. We can start to feel a sense of peace within us as we let go of the resistance we had been feeling in the other stages. Stress levels can start to go down, and we can begin again from a place of calm and awareness.

Why loss and why talk about it?

Life has challenged me with loss over the course of my life from losing a home in the last financial crisis, to having to close a business, to losing love, loved ones and more. My previous career as a management consultant for over a decade was focused on helping leaders and organizations manage and thrive through wide scale change. As an athlete, adventurer and entrepreneur, life daily comes with risk and reward and a necessity to embrace and accept what is and that the only constant is change.

When massive loss strikes our life, there are moments where we can feel like we may never be able to get ourselves through it. Yet, we always do. The universe operates with an abundance principal. It’s been critical to remind myself of this fact in challenging times. I’ve done so with affirmations and mantras. For example, “the universe is abundant, creative opportunities are always available to me.”

We have to be open enough to receive that abundance and possibility. It’s why the sooner we can get to a place of acceptance, we can get to a place where we can receive again. The earlier stages of grief tend to close us off and keep us in a state of a limited mindset. We may be surprised as we begin to fully accept and let go, as sometimes what we end up “losing” are things, people, situations, that no longer served us. By letting them exit our life, it opens the doors to new paths and opportunities that we might have not discovered otherwise.

Wishing everyone strength, courage, and a willingness to accept this time of change and loss in order to be open the the endless possibilities that await you.

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