In the past, most grief therapies take place after the loss or event, whether it’s the transition of a loved one or beloved pet, a divorce, loss of a job, friend, relationship, self-image or anything with which you have formed a bond or attachment. Grief shows up in many aspects of our daily lives and, if not processed, we can hold the energy of it not only emotionally, but oftentimes physically and mentally.
As a culture, we usually talk about grief in relation to death, but it is much more than that. Grief can start the moment you think something unpleasant might happen to you or is happening to you now. While experiencing this myself and with clients, it became so apparent that because grief may have already begun just with the thought that something may be lost, why not address it now? Even if the loss is or isn’t certain, the grief associated with it is still present.
To address this issue, I created a process called “Pre-Grief: Gateway to Grace.” By walking through the imagined loss prior to the event, while neutralizing the energy associated with it, it brings you to a higher state of grace when and if that event actually occurs. And, if it doesn’t occur, you have relieved the pain of the grief associated with the “not knowing” part of you that delves into the emotions of grief anyway.
This process can be done as soon as you have a thought about it and/or during the process of the cycle of grief.
Examples of pre-grief
Although not all-inclusive, the following are some examples of when pre-grief may arise, whether or not the perceived events are terminal or imminent: You or a loved one was just diagnosed with cancer or illness; your pet has an illness or old age is taking its toll; layoffs at work are pending and you might lose your job; your marriage isn’t going well or you are in the process of divorce; a friendship or relationship is not working out the way you had wished; your personal or career status may be affected by something; your sense of safety, family structure and dynamics may be changing; or stress and worry about the future in general.
It only has to be imagined for the grief to begin.
Grief is a normal process, but it doesn’t have to be painful or continue for long periods of time. It can be processed ahead of time. We’ve been told that you have to mourn for a certain length of time after the event to justify the loss or to express your loyalty to a person. I have come to find out this is absolutely NOT true after using this Pre-Grief process with myself and my clients.
Within ten months starting in 2006, I lost a pet of 13 years, my sister and best friend, my other beloved pet of 21 years, and my mother. I used the Pre-Grief process with my beloved pet and mother and I had no grief afterward, just a sense of completion and joy. In fact, as I sat with my mother as she was leaving, I was able to see my father and sister along with angels come and greet her. It was one of many mountain top experiences I’ve enjoyed throughout my life – and I may have missed it if I had not done the pre-grieving. With my sister, who died suddenly, I used this process immediately and the deep and painful grief was totally gone within two weeks, permanently.
I thank them all now, as their transitioning served a valuable lesson in creating this process. My heart is filled with joy every time I think of them.
Peace and clarity
Clients with whom I have used the Pre-Grief process seem to go through an event or loss with much more grace, understanding and compassion – and even joy. It brings them to a place of peace and clarity so the decisions they may need to make are more clear and easier to put in place. If an event or loss they imagine doesn’t happen, it allowed them the opportunity to live without grief, pain, stress and worry of waiting and not knowing.
What is so beautiful about the process is that it is fast, efficient and effective. No drugs, needles or traditional talk therapy are needed. Most people only need one to three sessions to relieve their pre-grief or grief, which is a whole lot better than being in that state for months or even years.
How do you know you are grieving? It shows up in so many ways, but here are some symptoms: Life has just stopped, no emotion, no movement forward, obsessively recalling the past over and over again, deep love pain, don’t want to bring up the issue, feeling that it’s not fair, apathy, why bother or what’s the point, extreme sadness, don’t want to do anything, afraid of failure or success, loss of future dreams, anxiousness or anxiety, physical issues that don’t seem to go away even with proper care, denial, anger, mind racing, intrusive thoughts, depression or despair, and sleep disturbances.
Grief isn’t bad. And it is compounded when it affects your life on a day-to-day basis. Pre-Grief truly is the Gateway to Grace, a more joyful and peaceful existence while living everyday life.