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Let's Talk about Grief (and Sitting in the Suck)

By: Lisa Greig

This will seem like an odd topic, especially since many of us just enjoyed a family day long weekend. But one thing I know for sure is that it is times like this that the most complicated emotions bubble up in us. We see what others are doing with their families (the highlight real on social) and we feel like we should be doing more or wishing we had more. Or, perhaps we are doing all the things with our families but the season of life we are in makes it HARD and the guilt we feel for not enjoying it is LOUD. Friends, this is very much grief. Grief for what we wanted, for what we don’t have, and grief for the way we wanted things to go. Grief does not just hit us in a death loss or the big losses of life, grief shows up everyday. Grief is a part of living and I am here to say it is time to give yourself permission to acknowledge this.

I have had the opportunity to do a lot of various workshops and seminars on grief and I wanted to share with you my condensed version of our way through grief. I am emphasizing through, because there is no way around it. Collectively, how do we heal our grief?

We Sit in the Suck

Yes, you read that correctly. We sit in the suck of the struggles. We throw the pity party. We actually acknowledge what is hurting us before we can actively work to take the steps necessary to heal ourselves. Stop with the noise. Go quiet and listen to the whispers. What is actually do-able with where you are, right now in your life? Check within before checking in. It is okay to throw a pity party, just give it a time limit.

As for the pity party, I am not saying you stay here permanently, but I can tell you our hurt deserves more than the 15 minutes we give it in the shower or on the drive home from work. Pack some snacks, it is time to find comfort (tolerance) in the discomfort.

We Lean Into Each Other

I say this countless times in a day, but we are not meant to do this (life) alone and we need to stop trying. Yes, I understand the myriad of issues we all embody that make this hard but I can confirm, that narrative is not serving you and we have to collectively work on changing this. We get by with a little (lot) of help from our friends. Community care needs to take over self care. What is the difference between self care and community care?

Self care: If you want to feel better, you need to do the labor yourself, for yourself.

Community care any care provided by a single individual to benefit other people in their life. This can take the form of protests, for which community care is best known, but also simple, interpersonal acts of compassion and random acts of kindness. This can be as simple as checkin in on each other.

Bubble baths will not heal the broken hearts and isolation. We need to move from a model of self care into community care, fully stocked with compassion

We Make Meaning

What do I mean by this? David Kessler said it best- “Loss is what happens to you in life. Meaning is what you make happen.” What does this mean for you? Dr. Karen Walrond created an incredible template that I have implemented for how we make meaning in our daily lives. This is a simple reflective or journaling practice and a way to check with yourself that involves asking yourself 3 questions:

  • How can I feel connected?

  • How can I feel healthy?

  • How can I feel purposeful?

For a week, I encourage you to carve out time to ask yourself these questions and then reflect on how fulfilled you are in each of these areas. Perhaps you are thriving in feeling connected but you need to focus more on feeling purposeful. Wherever you are feeling more empty, that is where I would encourage you to focus. Remember, small actions have big impact.

And with that, I am leaving you on this February morning with in invitation (and permission) to sit in the suck, lean into each other, and find ways to make meaning in you one wild and precious life.

As always, whatever you do and wherever you go, your Belong Hype Squad is rooting for you.



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