What Are the Many Triggers of Grief?

Grief arises from any event or new condition that shatters
the foundation you previously knew as your reality.

Very few of us embrace grief as part of living. We tend to reserve the idea of grieving for something we do after someone has died. And we don’t want to do that for very long or talk about it much at all.

We do ourselves a huge disservice by keeping grief in the shadows.

When we recognize the loss in the death of a loved one, a diminished savings account, grown children moving to another state or a health diagnosis, we give ourselves the opportunity to feel what we’re feeling and allow a new identity to emerge.

What losses have you experienced that demanded a new you?

What Are the Many Triggers of Grief?

Most of us tend to not want a new identity. Yet our former identity is no longer available.

If we don’t take the conscious journey of grieving, we tend to numb ourselves, sometimes to the point of barely living.

If we do take the conscious journey of grieving, we give ourselves the opportunity to embrace more of who we truly are and perhaps even serve others in a whole new way.

Ironically, consciously grieving gifts us with more authentic, joyful living.

If you’ve read this far, I would love you to share something in the comments. Let’s move grief out of the shadows . . .

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming stress and overwhelm into clarity and purpose”)

4 thoughts on “What Are the Many Triggers of Grief?”

  1. Ken, thanks for mentioning losses that aren’t the biggies. It can be so easy to tell ourselves to “get over it” when we get a speeding ticket or our travel plans don’t go as expected. If we don’t take that pause to feel, we then don’t allow the experience to pass through us. If it doesn’t pass through us, it gets stuck within us. Yikes, I don’t want all that stuff stuck inside me!

  2. I’ve had lots of events I never grieved, I didn’t ever even shed a tear when my mom died. You wrote “we tend to numb ourselves” and I have certainly done that! (And, I do it a lot less lately.) Brené Brown pointed out that we can’t “selectively” numb, so numbing out to some things has meant I have been numbed out to most things. And sometimes the triggers aren’t or don’t need to be biggies. Now I feel grief for a moment at the speeding ticket, or the hurricane messing with my travel plans. Hooray for feeling!

    Thanks once again for your depth and clarity.

  3. Dianne, oh my goodness, thank you for sharing so deeply and wholeheartedly. I feel you and I acknowledge your sacred journey.

    Congratulations for bearing witness to yourself and your process, knowing it’s time for rehab, feeling your feelings and sharing yourself so beautifully and vulnerably.

    With so much love, I look forward to meeting your new self who is emerging!

  4. I am a huge believer in allowing yourself to experience grief. I wanted to comment because I’m actually experiencing real grief over having to give up eating all of the foods I love and have relied upon for comfort, security and pleasure. I’ve been fooling myself that I eat ‘healthy,’ all the while gaining more weight. I was recently diagnosed as diabetic, which runs in our family line. It’s amazing to me how sad I am about it, both the diagnosis and having to radically change my eating habits. It’s put a large dent in my perception of myself as a super healthy person, and really pointing up how many emotional needs I’ve been filling with food. It’s humbling to have to face all of this, but my higher self knows it’s time and will guide me in taking matters in hand. Synchronistically, in the same week I got the diagnosis, I received a discourse in the mail from my spiritual teacher. (I’ve been initiated into and studying a particular spiritual path for some 20 years and receive regular discourses about various aspects of spiritual unfoldment.) In this discourse it said, “it’s time to address any remaining compulsive/addictive patterns in your life.” Talk about speaking right to me!
    So while my lower self is kicking and screaming about it, and my higher self is strong, clear and ready to take it on. It’s about higher consciousness. I’ve been practicing ways to cultivate it in my life and I now have to face the truth about my relationship with food.
    I say, it’s OK to sit up in bed at 3am and cry about what no longer is, accept the changes that must happen, and acknowledge that it’s all in divine order. My relationship to food is just as significant as any other relationship in my life, if not moreso! There comes a time when it bears re-evaluating and course correcting. I feel like I’m going into rehab, which I am!
    All the best to anyone who has been where I am. -DD


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