By: Tammy Faulds
There's a quiet pain many of us carry, tucked away behind forced smiles and "I'm fine" reassurances - it's the pain of loss. I remember the first time I truly felt this sting of loss. Like a lot of kids, it was when my beloved dog died. Despite my well-meaning friends and their words of care and compassion, the heartache was devestating and left me wondering how I’d ever live without him by my side. No one quite knew what to say or do, so I just carried on as best I could.
Fast forward to today and it’s easy to open any one of our social media channels and find advice on how to acquire things and thrive in this world - score that coveted job, find the perfect partner, or design the ideal home. Yet it’s still difficult to find support when it comes to managing the gaping hole left behind by any of the multitude of losses we experience in our lives.
The Multifaceted Nature of Grief
Grief isn’t just a singular emotion; it’s a complex combination of emotions like sorrow, longing, anger, and confusion. Society frequently dismisses these feelings with phrases like "time heals all wounds" or encourages the bereaved to "stay strong". Such platitudes, though well-intentioned, can inadvertently stifle the healing process because being advised to “not feel bad”, when we’re clearly feeling really bad, is confusing to the griever. It’s trying to use our heads to heal our hearts, and that simply doesn’t work. From global challenges like climate change to personal heartaches such as the loss of a loved one, grief operates on various scales. Each loss is as individual as a fingerprint and leaves a unique emotional scar.
But how do we know if we’ve ‘got grief’ in our lives? Well, often unresolved grief shows up as wishing things were different, better, or more than what they are or realizing that your hopes, dreams, and expectations won’t be met. Grief can certainly show up in relationships with those who have died but it can also show up with those still living when we witness a loss of health, cognitive function, or even in anticipation of death.
Introducing the Grief Recovery Method® (GRM)
Unlike other approaches that merely acknowledge the emotional pain of grief, this method offers an evidence-based, structured, and actionable plan. It’s helped millions of people around the world over the last 40 years. And it begins with…
A Safe Environment: A sanctuary where grief is neither judged nor diminished but acknowledged and compassionately explored.
Education: It shatters myths surrounding grief, introducing grievers to the intricate mosaic of over 40 types of losses and society's often misguided coping strategies.
Emotional Work: The bereaved trace their Loss History, unearthing significant events over their lifetime and the emotions tied to them. A Relationship Graph then captures the ebbs and flows of a pivotal relationship in their life, enabling a holistic view and understanding.
Expressing and Releasing: This stage encourages the articulation of all of our emotions. By crafting poignant statements of apology, forgiveness, and emotional significance (i.e. ‘I love you, I miss you, I hate that this happened…’), the process seeks completion of pain, not mere closure.
Sharing and Healing: Here, emotional revelations are shared marking a cathartic step from intellectual understanding to profound emotional healing via speaking these heartfelt emotions you’ve processed with a non-judgmental and empathetic heart.
The Transformative Power of The Grief Recovery Method®
Engaging with this process can be life changing. Participants often recount:
The beauty of this method lies in its ‘curiously compassionate’ approach. I often describe it as tending to a garden. When a patch of our ‘garden of life’ has died, weeds and invasive species can sprout, and the surrounding soil may suffer if we don’t tend to it. The GRM teaches us the proper tools (i.e. ‘Here, try this spade instead of using a spoon!’) so we can lovingly remove those weeds, tend to the soil, and water our roots. Only once we’ve done this work can we see hidden blooms and encourage new growth. The liberation people feel in taking action by tending to their gardens propels them towards their ‘new normal’ and helps them to further manage other losses in their lives.
My Personal Journey with Healing
When I stumbled upon the Grief Recovery Method, it was akin to finding a long-sought oasis. Suddenly, there was clarity, direction, and above all, hope. Speaking from personal experience, the Grief Recovery Method didn't just guide me; it evolved me. By embracing its steps, I've found a version of myself that isn't just surviving but thriving, making peace with past losses, and equipped to face any future ones.
With the added insights from my certifications with experts like Brené Brown, David Kessler, Alua Arthur, Danielle LaPorte and from my yoga and meditation experiences, I've honed an integrative approach to emotional recovery that I’m honoured and excited to share with the readers of Eirene.
If you're reading this, yearning for that light at the end of the tunnel, understand this: The Grief Recovery Method isn't just about moving past grief. It's about unlocking a resilient, joyful, and complete version of yourself.
We all deserve to live not in the shadow of our losses, but in the light of our recoveries. Let the Grief Recovery Method illuminate your path. Embrace the journey, heal your heart, and step confidently into a brighter, lighter future.
Since 2010, Tammy Faulds has been utilizing her heart-expanding and holistic coaching skills to guide people through loss to life.
Being an avid learner, Tammy has continued to tickle her grey matter and has earned her certifications as a life coach, death doula, grief specialist, and yoga and meditation teacher. However, Tammy’s education really began at the innocent age of 6 when she received a cancer diagnosis. And over the years, whether it's for her annual oncology appointments, while working with seniors as they candidly share some of life's regrets, or sitting bedside with loved ones in extremis - she’s constantly reminded that life, and the death that will inevitably come, is precious.
And she finds this fascinating. Liberating in fact. Because death needn't be feared. In fact, death is just misunderstood. And it's screaming to be heard because it knows it can truly teach us how to live out life in a way that no book, no movie, and no TED talk can.
But we have cold feet and we're too scared to have the conversation. Which is why Tammy’s made it her duty to lovingly facilitate these heart centered conversations. And why Tammy’s made death, her life's work.
You can find her at innertravelcoaching.com