Copyright Felipe Oli‍‍‍veira Couns‍‍‍elling 2018

‍‍‍‍‍‍How to Grieve P‍‍‍roperly in 7 Steps

Grief: the Transformational Path

Grief ‍‍‍is the art to use suffering and failure to grow as a whole human being. The work of great sadness can guide a man through old stories; can teach one how to listen to them deeply with caring; can endure a great acceptance, and can lead one to a deeper understanding of the Self. The art of grief is deeply connected with storytelling, where a man may have the opportunity to use his own sorrow to write his own story with clarity. This is the path of true transformation: three steps forward, two back. The two back is considered the most important. The process of examination and letting go is always hard for the ego (Rohr, 2010).

The 7 Steps to Grieve‍‍‍

1. In order to prepare the mind, body and spirit for the process, it is always indicated to prepare the space for sacredness. Use of candles, minimum artificial lights as possible, instrumental music on the background, but not loud. These create a special place for tears to flow and grow. A place in nature is more appropriate.‍‍‍

2. Identify the main reason or the most important reasons that you are grieving for;

3. Name the main feelings and emotions you are going through;

4. Express one’s gratitude, love, forgiveness, and goodbyes of such situation. One must “say the difficult and important things previously unsaid”. If it involves someone who is still alive “she may or may not visit with each person in the flesh, but she will certainly have many poignant and emotional encounters” (2003, p.106).

5. Important to write letters, poems, paintings, use of symbols (like toys or objects from nature: rocks, leaves, sticks) in order to externalise the feelings that are inside, on the heart;

6. Whatever one does during the grief ritual, one must know that “at the bottom of those grief waters lies a treasure, the source of a man’s greater life” (2003, p.106). The intention and the belief of a Greater Source of Life are of extreme importance of the whole process. Having that in mind is really important, hence the importance of an experienced professional supervising the steps to hold the grieving space.

7. The last and most important: meditation daily. It “develops the alertness of a centred mind, the ability to stay focused and calmly present… You might begin with twenty minutes, sitting with your spine erect and steadily attending to your breath, both the inspirations and expirations, perhaps counting then breaths and then repeating. When you notice your attention has drifted away, gently return to your breath” (2003, p.109).

Trust the Process
To say goodbye to a loved one, to a dream job, to a loved country, to a persona or identity that gave so much power and success, is never easy. The pain is always hard. The work of grief is considered by Jung the work of a warrior. No wonder why. Learning to be still, and wait. “Learning to put your faith and love and hope in waiting. Let your darkness become your light. Making peace with your lack of knowing, and trust the process fiercely” (Plotkin, 2003, p.110). This is difficult but possible. That’s why Solomon said there is more wisdom on the day of death, then on the day of birth. I‍‍‍t is through a sad countenance the heart is made stronger.
Hold on to it, and trust the process.

Now, I invite you to listen to David Whyte r‍‍‍eciting his poem Sweet Darkness.

I am Felipe Oliveira, holder of a Masters in Counselling with almost six years of experience in the Authentic Male Journey myself. Feel free to contact me by mobile, e-mail or social media for an informal chat or to book a session.

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Introduction

In this article, I will be exploring some ideas on how to grief as often a few clients ask me how. There are a few ideas on how to go through the process and to use as a transformational phase based on the writings of Bill Plotkin ‍‍‍(2003).There are many reasons why someone goes to such process. The main reason Plotkin write about is for one to let go an old identity or persona, in order to find who one really is. No matter the reasons you are going through, I will be paraphrasing in a more gener‍‍‍alist way.

Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men facing challenges in life.

To read about The Ecology of Life & Depression, click here.

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The Work of Authentic Manhood

Reference:

Plotkin, Bill (2003) Soulcraft – Crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche. New World Library Publishers.

Rohr, R. (2010). On The Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men. Loyola Press.

Felipe Oliveira provides grief counselling for men in Brisbane . Click here to know more about his work. Or, please, continue reading about grieving properly.

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Photo by Ahmed Rizkhaan on Unsplash
Photo by‍‍‍ Felipe P. Lima Rizo on Unsplash

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‍‍‍Felipe Oliveira is a reputable and fully registered‍‍‍ counsellor for men facing challenges in life. Holding a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy, his specialisation is in men’s mid-life crisis,  male authenticity, sexuality and spirituality.