Death and non-Death loss

Death and non-death loss impacts every facet of human existence, which would indicate we should be good at handling death and the resulting grief. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The majority of white western culture is ill equipped emotionally and psychologically to navigate this journey. As a result, the human mind does everything in its power not to feel pain by engaging in avoidance and numbing tactics.

Our ancestors, who often lived closer to the land and thus the natural cycles of life, created rituals, mythic narratives, and offered necessary community support for processing death and grief. 

I was deeply honored to co-facilitate bi-weekly grief support groups for teenagers who had lost a parent to accident, illness, or suicide. Over the course of three and a half years, the young men and women navigating their parental loss during such a key developmental stage, profoundly informed the subtleties surrounding my teaching of loss and grief.

Death is the one human experience every-one of us will go through. Learning different coping mechanisms for death, non-death loss and the grieving process would profoundly shift our lived experience.

Exercise: 

What was the first loss you remember experiencing? What were the messages you received about that loss and how have those messages shaped the way you deal more recent loss in your life? What image or metaphor best describes your heartbreak? 

Practical Information: Find out what the bereavement leave allowance is for the company you work for and if there are exceptions (such as extended time for family who live abroad, or death of in-laws, grandparents, best friends).