Grief and loss are inevitable things we all may come across at some point in our lives. And the way we respond to our losses is what defines where our lives are headed. My guest today is someone who has endured great loss but hasn’t been broken by it. She has lived through the grief of losing three of her closest family members, and now, she helps people move beyond grief through her 20+ year private practice and reasons to live circles she created for those who have survived suicide attempts. Georgena Eggleston, trauma specialist, author, and certified body-mind therapist joins us today to talk about living through grief and making it an opportunity for growth. I hope you enjoy this conversation.
Living Through Grief – Georgena talks about the experience of
dealing with the deaths of three family members, the way she dealt with it, and
what helped Georgena move through the grief.
Understanding Grief – Grief is the result of a significant loss.
However, we often associate grief with death. Georgena talks about six types of
grief that come with different types of losses.
Anticipatory Grief – How to deal with a situation where you know
that a significant loss is inevitable and you’re grieving because of it.
Grief is a Call for Care – What you can do to stay healthy and
take care of yourself in times of grief.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail – Why grieving people need to
plan for the events that remind them of their significant loss and how to use
these events to move through the grief.
Grief and Body – Georgena talks about how grief affects our body,
how grief can show up in the form of physical pain, and what you can do to
Grief & Growth – Grief is a gateway to growth. Georgena shared
with us how to embrace your grief and use it for your growth.
Habits & Patterns – We all have habitual behaviors, and these
can sometimes be unfavorable to us in times of grief. Georgena shares her
thoughts on how thin happens and how we can prevent these patterns from
becoming our prisons.
Contact Georgena Eggleston:
Mentioned in the Episode:
Georgena’s Book – A New Mourning: Discovering the Gifts in Grief:
Building Resilience through Mindfulness – Christine Green:
- Grief is a call for care. Grief is a result of a significant loss in our lives, not just the loss of a loved one. And we need to recognize that loss, so we can grieve it and give ourselves the care that we need, instead of judging the emotion or ourselves for feeling it. As she said, there’s nothing wrong with you; you’re just grieving.
- I’m using her words here. But don’t put whipped cream on poop, trying to rush through the grieving process is, in her words, like putting whipped cream on poop. Don’t do it. Not only does it not work, but it will likely keep us stuck. Plus, it doesn’t allow us to grow from it. She called this a spiritual bypass. And I have to admit; I think this has been a tough one for me. And it may continue to be I like to try to think my way through things, or find a way to minimize it, you know, so I feel better about it, you know, by saying things like, well, it’s not as bad as x. The other thing that I try is I try to rush towards gratitude. Because it’s like, oh, well, I feel grateful for something. If I can find that silver lining, then I can make my way through it. And I think for me, recognizing that that’s probably counterproductive, gratitude will come. But maybe it shouldn’t come before moving through the grieving.
- Grief is the gateway to growth. As Georgina said, grief is an inside job. And if we want to grow from it, then we need to do the grief work. What stood out for me, there were three different things that she said, being present with it and noticing it without judging it or ourselves for what we’re feeling. The second thing, she said, grieve every day, but not all day. And I think that this gives us permission and the space to allow the grieving to happen without trying to bypass it. And then the third thing she said is to have a plan. I mean, if you think about it if we’re experiencing a loss, knowing that that loved one will have a first missed holiday or a first missed birthday, or the anniversary of their death, or whatever. But this can help us plan how we’re going to deal with those days. So we don’t become overwhelmed or hijacked by it. I think that this episode is especially timely since we were all dealing with the effects of the pandemic and the uncertainty of the past year.