We never know when our last breath will be, perhaps today or tomorrow? This is why wise sages tell us to live each day as if it were our last! However, one day each and every one of us will go on our journey, one that our ancestors took before us. Isn’t it sad that no one in our family took the time to write it down for us? This way we would know what to expect and how to follow when it was our time?
Knowledge lessens Fear
I’m a firm believer in the more we know, the more our fears are lessened, leaving us to be more peaceful. It is about death, our death or that of a beloved family member or a dear friend that I’m talking about. We really rarely plan to take this journey into grief or death.
Our ancestors were all too familiar with death, they understood it and knew how to cope. Somewhere along the way, we have lost this ability. We have become so uncomfortable around death and dying, we will do anything to stop it from happening. Often delaying or averting the pain and turmoil we know will descend if allowed to happend.
Our ancestors built homes with a parlor, a room suitable for such an occasion as death. The family, aunts and other females would help to prepare the body. Then family, friends, relatives, and neighbors who would come by to pay their respects. There were no conveniences such as funeral homes where all this now is taken care of for us.
The person dying was cared for at home. The home was central to birth and death. In those days, families young and old knew how to take care of the dying and what to do when the death occurred. They had their supports readily available and their wellbeing was considered.
Long gone are the tools of what to expect or do at these moments, it is no wonder our fears can run rampant because this art has been lost to us. The person dying would teach those around them all about dying and how to die. There is more fear now of death itself as the dying process has been shielded or taken from our collective.
Facing Death Today
This is what happened to me when my dad died, I was clueless, felt alone and had no idea what to do or how to cope because no one had ever shown me. Once, I had healed and moved through my mourning and grieving time, I decided to make it my mission to help others understand.
As part of my mission, I wrote my first book, Griefs Abyss Finding your Pathway to Peace. It was the poem The Journey that became my map and would guide the chapter titles. I do hope through this poem others will become familiar with the twists and turns of our mourning time and become less fearful.
Being forearmed, forwarned with knowledge doesn’t necessarily take away the pain. What it does do, is take away the mystery that Society today has allowed. There is such a cultural averseness to death and dying that has allowed fear to run our lives instead.
The poem The Journey
The music for this was composed and recorded by Dr. Barry Whitney, Professor of Religious Studies, the University of Windsor (retired)
3 Common Beliefs to Avoid
There are not many people who are comfortable discussing a death or the loss of a relationship, any loss that they experience for that matter. However, when I share with them some of the pitfalls of not dealing with their loss, they often become instantly curious.
Blame & Guilt
Too often, I have seen and heard them complain and share “if only statements” or “if I could have” they suffer hours needlessly by berating themselves. This is so sad. Grieving is hard enough without adding on layers of blame or guilt. It is awkward to know how to deal with a death or loss because, let’s face it, we have not been shown. The behaviors around them were shown to us by our parents or authority figures in Society and may well have been one of avoidance.
The More You Learn
I’d like to remedy that so I’m hosting a webinar to explain these 3 common beliefs. Having journeyed into grief through a death and loss myself, it is now my desire to guide others in their healing by giving them a better understanding of grief. Because, I truly believe the more you learn about something, the less fear you have around it. Who doesn’t remember the first time they learned to drive or ride a bike? Didn’t you feel a little scared and unsure then? When you develop awareness and understanding, the “why’s”, begin to make more sense to you and you become more willing to adopt something different.
This webinar is about debunking these 3 beliefs or myths:
- Time will heal, yes, but there is more to it than simply waiting. You will learn why “going it alone”, isn’t such a great idea. Death and loss are normal and natural occurrences so why shouldn’t you manage on your own? Discover what not to do and what to do.
- Who hasn’t heard this in the safety demonstration when flying regarding the importance of putting on your own mask first? The same principle applies when you are grieving. Many times, your own mask is put on last. This comes so naturally to women. Together, we will explore why it is important.
- Isn’t it natural to run away from pain – aren’t we taught as children to avoid it? Emotions and the feelings around loss can be both alarming and painful. Why wouldn’t you want to run from them? Learn what you are avoiding without even realizing it.
By understanding the “why’s” then the how’s and what else can easily be put into place. This gives you confidence, more energy and you won’t be worrying that there is something wrong with you. You may even be able to relax, sleep better and feel alive by reconnecting to your life.
Register your seat today - https://www.annedebutte.com/avoid-3-common-beliefs/
I am sure you know someone who has experienced a tragedy in their life? How did they cope? Often when a tragic event strikes, it’s your coping strategies that come into play. How well are challenges managed? If you yourself have experienced a tragic event, how have you coped? Do you go into avoidance and not discuss what had happened? Or perhaps you have fallen apart for a time but found your way to acceptance? You may be fortunate and have a natural resilience, for you have dealt and coped well and have found ways to have grown because of it?
Regardless of your coping strategies, there are many who will avoid their painful feelings. Instead, they will carry on with their lives the best way they know how, despite feeling confused and hurt. Perhaps it was the adults around you that discouraged you from showing your emotions and in order to fit in, you shut them down. You may have sensed somehow that they were not welcomed or wanted. You may have been rewarded as a way to stop you or perhaps punished if you didn’t stop. Interesting to know, we humans are taught from a young age to avoid pain at all costs so after all avoidance then is natural.
These types of behaviours, serve only to make the event worse and, as a result, you may find your life is not much fun. Not dealing with your emotions can cause you to harden your heart against further heartache. Doing so could create difficulties in your relationships with others. Your anger may simmer just below the surface, and explode at an inopportune moment. Avoiding your feelings and emotions can also create depression. It may be your unresolved grief that is the cause of all this.
Young Royal Speaks Out
If you read any of the articles on Prince Harry, you will find that he chose not to feel sad, and so he refused to talk about the death of his mother. It was only after creating chaos in his life, he eventually sought help, discovering that the best way to cope was indeed to talk about it. He is glad he did. Prince Harry has turned his life around and it is so much better than before.
Losses Not Grieved
There are many losses that you are likely to encounter in your life and not many of us have been taught how to cope or deal with them. As a result, many losses go unrecognized, so why would you know to grieve?
Find out if you have unresolved grief in this special report - 6 Signs that Grief could be ruining your life. Your life is too precious to waste on living an unfulfilled life. How bad would you allow your life to be before you sought help?
Let’s Talk About Grief!
Two years ago, my sister Kaye, hubby and I cleared mum’s old apartment, moved her and set up her new room at Orchard View, a retirement home in Manotick, much closer to our home. It was the day before halloween when we got her settled in. She enjoyed the activities and we were present for a resident sing-along. A few days later there was to be Halloween Party for the residents, we got mum her own witches hat so she could participate. Mum, thrived in her new environment. Who knew one year later she would have moved to her new home, this time beyond the veil.
According to the literature, the first anniversary of a person’s death can be almost as traumatic as the death itself.
Life goes on and often you can become caught in everyday life totally unaware of your emotions around the anniversary until you feel yourself to be “off” and are unsure why. This was my reality as the first anniversary of mum’ death loomed. I was aware of the date October 31, and had planned accordingly for Monday. Instead, my sadness became evident on Friday. My body cells remembered a year ago on the Friday when I had spent time with her. It would be Saturday October 31, Halloween when she chose her dying time. Due to our leap year, Halloween falls this year on Monday and I knew what I would do and how I would spend this 1st anniversary to honour her but I was not prepared for this early remembrance.
As a grief coach, I am all too aware of how “firsts” affect families. I was not prepared for my body and its emotions to be literal. I began to mourn again, thinking back to my time spent with her on that Friday. It was later on Halloween night just as we were settling down the telephone startled us out of our relaxing moment, it was the retirement home where mum lived calling.. My heart was in my mouth as I picked up the phone to be told mom wasn’t doing well – could we come. We live about 6 minutes away, coats on we flew to the residence. Oh dear I thought, not good, the nurse is sitting there. Being a previous nurse myself, I knew this did not bode well. She told us that mum had died before we arrived. She hadn’t wanted to let us know this before as she was concerned with us driving.
The rest is history. I It was as if from Friday on, my body began to relive all these events of a year ago. I had a hard time settling but decided to use one of my coaching tools – the letter of apology and appreciation. I began the process and it didn’t take long before tears began. I allowed, and then began to complete this exercise. Once completed, I felt lighter having taken care of my emotions in this manner. The exercise did help and I began to feel better. I would then go on to reminisce without too many emotions creeping up. Yes, you may be aware of the actual date of death, but please be aware of the literal date. Your body doesn’t know anything about “leap years”. Planning ahead does have its draw backs if you are.
Mum we love you and are thinking of you as you celebrate your first year in Heaven.
I have just spent a delicious, intricate weekend involved in a wonderful course called The Art of Be-ing. The art of being, I was soon to discover was becoming still and first connecting and being with self, listening to what was needed and following. Easy peazy you say. Right, not so. We learnt how our four legged coaches live in the now, their energies are huge and they can connect with our energy easily, however, we have to be present and in the moment ourselves. They can listen to their environment to keep themselves safe as well as carry out what it is we want them to do. How we communicate is huge. “I want to connect with the horse and make him move – Isn’t a very clear intention. What will that look like, how will we know we have been successful. Hmm, lets try again. I want the horse to look at me and follow me when I step away from him. Ah much clearer. How many times do we believe we are communicating well, when indeed, we lack clarity? We then convey an unclear message and get angry when our message wasn’t received well or carried out. Working with the horses this weekend has shown me how, I am quite unclear in my intentions on a daily basis. I may start out clear in the early hours of the morning but by lunchtime may have gotten quite distracted as other seemingly more important “things” required my attention. Resulting in nothing very much being accomplished. I create too many “too dos” for my list and then become discouraged as they don’t get completed unless I have a deadline. Working with no deadline for me doesn’t work – the project sits there unfinished. I tell myself, well I’m working hard, I’ve so much to do – its OK it isn’t completed – yet! - oh the self talk – how convincing I can be.
What the Horses Taught Me!
After working with the horses this weekend (no riding). I see now how “ambivalent” I have grown over successes and outcomes. I have built up this safety mechanism to keep myself safe and small apparently. I am OK if something works out and I am also OK if it doesn’t. This way I will not feel the devastation of something not working out. I will keep my equilibrium “I will keep Calm”. How very British of me!
So, this weekend taught me so much – I spent approximately 15 minutes in total with the horses to discover this gem over the weekend. No wonder my coaching business came to a standstill once my book was published. Being too busy to find clients became my battle cry. If I was too busy, at least I was being productive, I was still working on my business. I was staying safe and small at the same time.
Another of Life’s Losses
What will I do with this information. Well now that I am busted I can no longer hide from self and others. I need to allow myself to feel what that devastation as I call it will feel like. Will I really be devastated if no one coaches with me or buys my book? I won’t die or be judged that is for sure. My ambivalence is my safety mechanism from keeping me from feeling potential fearful outcomes. Quite cleaver really, we humans have been built for survival and have created many tools to keep ourselves so. Where and when did I learn this technique? It is sad also to think by having this unconscious behavior (well until this weekend) how I am living only half a life. I have successfully stopped my negative (disappointed/devastated) emotion from being expressed so how can I totally feel my positive emotions fully, my joy, my happiness. I now have found yet another of life’s losses that must be grieved. The lost of my full self. The loss of allowing my full emotions their rightful expression. To allow myself to really feel the disappointment, be with it, connect and then follow where it will lead me. All unexpressed emotions are like a holding a beach ball under water. It takes so much more energy to do so. It is time to allow the beach ball to go and for me to totally welcome back my disappointment and devastation and know whatever they bring will be better than not feeling them.
Exploring Equine Coach for My Grief Clients
I thought I was doing this weekend for my potential clients, if they needed more coaching then perhaps Equine Coaching would bring more out for them, once I had gotten them through their grief was my intention for the weekend. I was merely curious to see how it could work for them.
Little did I know, how it would work so well for me also. I love the archeological dig, the finding of those golden nuggets, the alchemy of how life, emotions can shift in an instant! Thank you my two legged coaches and my four legged ones for your love and gentle support. It was a valuable dig!
How Do You Transform?
Your grief isn’t just about your recent loss its an accumulation of many, this is an opportunity for you to build you from the ground up. Grief shatters so you can rebuild anew.
Your 12 Steps from Grief to Peace
- Going into grief’s abyss
- Finding a way out
- Learning what thoughts cause you pain
- Making peace with your past
- Forgiving yourselves and others
- Finding what’s important
- Determining your needs
- Restoring your balance
- Practicing gratitude
- Learning your values
- Finding new meaning
- Creating a new Chapter in your Book of Life
The Energy of Grief
In grief, your energy is way too low to make decisions or even attempt to do much of anything. Grief is meant to stop you so you can take time to get into it – really feel its intensity and allow it to move you and move through you. Running away will only prolong it or it will recede leaving you listless or depressed.
Dropping into Grief
Grief is nature’s way of honouring the deceased, your ancestors if you will, according to Karla McLaren, author of The Language of Emotions. It stops you so you can see what “Needs to be mourned” and “What must be released completely?” Karla advises. We cannot do all this if we are distracted or moving too fast. Grief is meant to slow you down. If you refuse to because your too busy or are fearful then nature has another opportunity to get your attention – depression may ascend. Depression according to Ms. McLaren - is a Brilliant Stop Sign. In depression you get an opportunity to review “Where has my energy gone” “Why was it sent away?” she says.
You have a choice now, to heal your past so as to move into your most amazing future yet. A future where you can live fully. The sack of unfinished business can be put down; you will come out of grief renewed if you allow it to do its job.
To coach 1:1 with Anne and for more information www.reconnect-from-grief.com
Let’s Talk About Grief!
The big question is “How” – how do you let your grief transform you? First, you have to be willing to go into your grief and not ignore it or run. A death shatters your very core, your very foundation and like all foundations, it will need to be repaired and rebuilt. This is where you get an opportunity to review your life, your beliefs, values, and your needs.
You will get an opportunity to face your fears, your guilt, your anger. Take a look at what parts of your life are working and what parts are not. Now you begin to see why they call grieving “work”. Thus begins the rebuilding of your foundation. This is an opportunity for you to find meaning for the death of the person you have lost, forgive the past and move into your future with acceptance. For some, they will heal their grief by creating a legacy, a trust fund or find they are ready to help and support others on their grief journey.
Action, Commitment, and Support
To do so requires commitment, action, and support for you to reach your transformation but I can tell you, it can be done for I have walked this journey a little while ago. I believe you can heal your grief, you can remember the person with love and a light heart. With the happy remembrance of the memories that bring a smile to your face.
Like all good journeys when you know where you are going it is easier to plan but first, you decide your destination and take action.
Grief has Many Faces
Grief comes in many sizes and is mostly associated with a death, however, there are many life circumstances that can create the same feelings and emotions. Unfortunately, Society doesn’t recognize them and these souls suffer alone. I hope to be inclusive and recognize grieving comes with divorce/separation, job loss, miscarriage, pet loss and leaving a country of origin. That’s why I created a tool called “Climbing out of Life’s Emotional Abyss”. This is one of my many tools I have in my toolkit to support you through the heartbreak of loss and then guide you towards your peace and happiness.
To find out more you will find this at www.reconnect-from-Grief.com
Without Death there would be No Butterflies
I’m on a mission to bring grief out of the closet so you and others can understand it is nothing to fear, and once understood, to accept it for it is a natural part of life and being human. Grief comes in many shapes and sizes, and is woven into the fabric of society’s existence. Still we avoid it, and do what we can to control our lives in order not to feel it’s pain too deeply.
“Let your Grief Transform you”
Typically, we associate Our Grief in response to a death. However, grief can also occur when we have lost something of importance. Because we are programmed for survival, pain and suffering were meant to be avoided at all cost. As a result, we have become a society that is averse to a very natural part of life and that is death.
Small Practice Steps
This is why life has given us smaller losses to practice on for they will teach us how to deal with the largest loss of all - a death. Very often it is not the death itself that affects the immensity of grief we feel, it can often be we are feeling and being asked to heal all those other “little losses” we ignored and buried as we went through life.
How many of you recite affirmations as I do negating anything bad or negative you may be feeling or thinking? Sometimes we need to feel our emotions and not affirm them away. If there were no death, there would be no butterflies. In a similar way, if there were no sadness or grief how would we know and appreciate happiness and joy?
3 Day Grief Ritual
I recently read a book called The Healing Wisdom of Africa by author Dr. Patrice Somé. He writes that when someone in his home village is not in their joy, then grief has crept in to visit. If one person is affected, then the whole village is affected. It’s people drop whatever they are doing and participate in a three- day ritual to release the grief that has settled. Each participant is accompanied and no one goes into their grief alone. After three days, everyone returns to the village to carry on with their lives, feeling happy that their joy has returned. Who knew that grieving could take three whole days? It makes you wonder how we are expected to deal with and heal our grief when our funeral rituals last one to two hours? Many are expected then to return to their work and lives.
Making Peace with Grief?
The question isn’t, how do we grieve; it is how can we not? Perhaps you have grown up with parents who were uncomfortable with their emotions and who did not allow your emotions to flow. Our understanding of death and not being fearful of it lies with accepting our emotions and recognizing their connection to our thoughts. Our emotions flow through us one by one. Often we don’t notice them unless we think of something that literally interrupts us and makes us feel anger or sadness. We never stop long enough to ask why we are feeling a certain way. Our emotions recede in the background until something like a death occurs – the grand interruption! Then we are stopped in our tracks and have no choice but to face them. In our grief, each emotion will come to visit, sometimes alone or all together leaving us breathless, off balance and in pain. Understandably, we may be frantic and unsure of how to cope with the intensity.
GPS -Map- Plan – Your tools for the Grief Journey
Rather than waiting until a death occurs, wouldn’t it be kinder for us to understand what to expect? To gain an appreciation of grief’s purpose? I have found when I understand something, the fear surrounding it lessens.
How many of you can say you know what to expect when death shows up? What will it feel like? Will I cope with grief’s emotions? Because we are afraid, we cannot face up to what is in front of all of us. This is why I suggest “let’s talk about it”. In this way you lessen fear’s grip on death. You can allow yourself to go deeper into the understanding of life ending and experience the growth that can occur from this personal exploration.
No one would think of visiting a place they’d never been without first researching it and making travel plans. They would take along their GPS or trusty map. Death is no different; it is a journey we all must take and it is in the surrendering that we can ultimately reduce the painful feelings that surround grief. However, so few have a road map or GPS of grief’s terrain.
As a grief coach and author, I offer you “Grief’s Abyss, Finding your Pathway to Peace”, my road map for grief experienced through a death. Here I guide you through the twists and turns as you journey through grief and transition from heartache to happiness. The book is now available on Amazon.ca. I’d like toI invite you to join in the conversation on Facebook where a closed group meet to discuss their concerns; where they support and are supported on their journey. You can connect with me and I will be pleased to invite you.