Grief is not a linear process to get through. So many times I have heard people share in frustration, “I thought I DID this already” For most of us. it is more spherical. We experience many feelings, thoughts, interruptions, joys, crashes, throughout the same day or even simultaneously. We roll around it or with it. I hear, "When will things feel normal? I can't imagine it." We can feel isolated, disjointed. Restoring a sense of wholeness may also be mysterious. How do we learn ourselves and our worlds now that so much seems to have changed?
In my practice, no time more than in recent years, have I found people feeling so alone in their grief. Changes in family, spiritual, and society structures? Who can say really. But this is what has brought me to share a multi-media, free series on supporting the raw, innermost experiences of grief from loss as a support for those who are hoping for a path to understanding mind, body, spirit steps forward.
Forward does not mean things go back to anything. Forward is learning where and how this grief becomes part of our whole being and lives, and who are we now that things can’t be undone. What is it to go forward? And what if going forward seems too much? Sometimes, anything and everything might be too much.
Let’s start wherever you are, together.
This 12 part series on the raw, inner places of grief is not the stages of grief, as in denial, rage, acceptance, etc, or therapeutics of grief as in anticipatory, traumatic, complex, etc. We will explore what that universal and yet most personal conversation is, what the invitation is, the conflicts, and paths to wholeness from the swirl and between of it can be.
Through posts, some videos, and other materials, there are 2 options, both free.
There is following along these posts and videos
and then there is signing up for the inner community where the content goes more in depth with even more supportive extras, more access to me, and a private peer support group available for only this series. You can participate or not. Nothing is required of you. The inner community will close about a month after the series closes for everyone’s privacy, and we’ll go from there if we decide we want to continue. We may decide to have some live meetings also, where we can share whatever we like. We decide.
This is for you, like a cup of tea coming to you regularly for a while. You know what you need, and can sign up at any time during the series.
GRIEF: n. the anguish experienced after significant loss, usually the death of a beloved person. Grief is often distinguished from bereavement and mourning. Not all bereavements result in a strong grief response, and not all grief is given public expression (see disenfranchised grief). Grief often includes physiological distress, separation anxiety, confusion, yearning, obsessive dwelling on the past, and apprehension about the future. Intense grief can become life-threatening through disruption of the immune system, self-neglect, and suicidal thoughts. Grief may also take the form of regret for something lost, remorse for something done, or sorrow for a mishap to oneself. https://dictionary.apa.org/grief
Disenfranchised Grief: n. grief that society (or some element of it) limits, does not expect, or may not allow a person to express. Examples include the grief of parents for stillborn babies, of teachers for the death of students, and of nurses for the death of patients. People who have lost an animal companion are often expected to keep their sorrow to themselves. Disenfranchised grief may isolate the bereaved individual from others and thus impede recovery. Also called hidden grief. https://dictionary.apa.org/disenfranchised-grief
We have come to understand that this in not exclusively a human experience. We see it in whales, we see it in birds, we see it in the cats and dogs we live with. This is a deep sorrow, and an inner space that we may or may not show outwardly. It is timeless, experienced universally through all ages, continents, oceans, airspaces, cultures. We are never as alone as we may feel or believe.
Please let the knowledge that this is a universal, timeless mind, body, spirit, richly faceted spectrum be an actual comfort as a way of knowing we are all connected in the moments we may feel completely alone. There is a Buddhist practice called Tonglen, to envision the possibility of others feeling what you are feeling right now, anywhere in the world, how many people may be feeling this, and feel into that enormity. What would you wish them to feel? Send that to them. Imagine what they would wish you to feel, and feel them sending it to you. https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-practice-tonglen/
I have felt deep grief in my losses and much of my career has been companioning people and even some animals in their grief. I have studied it from many mind, body, spirit perspectives. It is as powerful as it feels. It commands, inspires, believes, lies, steals, manipulates, destroys, heals, surprises, invites, manifests. We tend to believe that grief is a primarily an emotional beast, but grief also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions that are very important to understand or at minimum give a nod to. Throughout the dozen or more posts, within each topic, my decades of experience and expertise will companion and guide some understanding and care in these areas.
There are messages we have woven within us from our families, communities, society, maybe even our religious teachings (whether or not we practice them actively or they are our root traditions), that can define how we perceive rules of grief, mourning, guilt, timelines, expression, right-wrong, ritual, so many aspects of our emotions, thoughts, actions, conversations, behaviors.
Let’s spend some weeks talking about these inner spaces in the between of what is grief and the invitation it creates in restoring our wholeness as our home, regardless of our circumstances and including our loss.
If you would like to follow along in the series through these posts and social media, that’s great. If you would like to sign up into the free member’s area, there will be exclusive content like a private discussion group, supportive mp3s and videos, early releases of posts and YouTubes, and early bird discounts on related classes and services. Here’s the link for more information, and here’s another to simply sign up for the inner community directly.
Contact me by email for support or questions. It is also important to remember there is a community of services, online and in person available to support any of us in these times of grief. These supports can be conventional or unconventional, creative, spiritual, therapeutic, nature-based, physical. We may feel disjointed in these times, but we can still be the expert on ourselves, catch a still moment, check in and decide what we may need most, and lean in. I am here should you like to get in touch.
Here is a link to a YouTube where I share my recent experience of the loss of my long time companion dog. It may be helpful to put words to many aspects of your own experience, before during and after your own loss, whether similar or different, it is a start. Finding ways to tap into our experience is a part of the healing process, even if you feel there is no one there to hear it. It is your story, your experience, your language, and also a universal experience. We are never as alone as we may feel.
I am here to walk this time with you.
Dr. Birdi Sinclair
Spiritual Director, Master Spiritual Coach & Counselor
Interfaith Minister, Intuitive Channel, Moments Artist
Grief & Wholeness Specialist, EOL Doula People & Animals
Love Maverick, Author, Creatively Fit Coach
While grief is a natural response to many experiences of loss, disruption, change, illness, identity, causes, and other circumstances, this series is focusing on the loss of people or animal companions, through death. All are welcome of course, and there will be parallels. There is an expanded inner community, which has a support group, and here, however, I ask only those who are grieving losses through death participate please.