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Hello, friends! And welcome to Move Into Coherence. I’m Pamela Stokes. Today’s episode we will be talking about Loss and Grief. We’ll learn about the often misunderstood stages of grief. We will understand a little bit more about where grief shows up in the body, and we’ll do a tapping script for Loss and Grief, so let’s get into it. I decided to do this episode today because yesterday I lost my cat, Mr. Winkles. He was 19 years old, and he was a pretty good boy, and his health was declining, but we cherished all our moments with him. I’ve also experienced the loss of other people in my life–distant cousins and friends that I had maybe lost touch with, and seeing Facebook posts and so forth. And I know there’s a lot of loss and grief around us these days, so I felt it was important to share this information with you.

Some decades ago, a book was written on the five stages of grief, by Elizabeth Kübler Ross and David Kessler. And they describe these five stages as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It’s important for you to understand, though, that these are not linear—not everyone even goes through all of them and in any kind of order. Your grief is as unique as you are. We can be in one of these stages for even just a moment, and then we can flip into another stage, and back and forth. But it’s important for us to recognize when we’re in a stage, what it means, and to allow ourselves to really feel it. So let’s talk about these stages. First, we have denial. We go numb. It’s shock. These feelings help us pace our strong feelings of loss. There’s some grace in this denial because we only let in as much as we can handle. Once we accept that the reality is that we’ve had this loss, denial can fade, and then the other feelings will surface. Another stage of grief is anger, and it’s necessary to the healing process. The more we truly feel it, the more it will dissipate, which allows the healing. And there may be more feelings underneath the anger, such as pain. In our society, we basically fear anger, or the expression of anger, but anger is strength, and it actually can be an anchor because it creates a structure—it’s a bridge—a connection to something or someone, because we can be angry at that person, or we can be angry at God, but it allows us to have this bridge. And it’s better than feeling nothing, and it’s an indication of the intensity of your love. So let yourself feel that anger. It’s OK. It’s important. Another stage is called bargaining. In the bargaining stage we can become lost in the “what if’s” or the “if only”, and we want to go back in time. Guilt is here in bargaining. We find fault in ourselves and what we think we could have done better. We remain in the past. Another stage is called depression. Once our attention has moved to the present, we will feel the grief deeply—deeper than we’ve ever imagined—and it feels as though it will last forever. But this is not a mental illness. It’s an appropriate response to a great loss. We withdraw from life. We feel intense sadness. And we may even ask the question what’s the point of going on? When we see this as something unnatural, we feel the need to snap out of it or fix it. It’s important to know that this is a normal and natural response. It would be unusual to not experience this feeling of depression, and it is a necessary step along the way of healing. And another stage of grief is acceptance. And we don’t want to confuse this with being OK with what’s happened. Instead, it’s about accepting that they are physically gone and recognizing that it’s permanent. We will not like this reality or feel that it’s OK, but we learn to live with it. We must live in the world in this new way without them. Here we begin to have more good days than bad ones. We begin to live again and enjoy our life without them, and this can sometimes feel like a betrayal. But, knowing we never replace what’s been lost, we make new connections, new relationships. We don’t deny our feelings, and we listen to our needs. We move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We reach out to others and become involved with their lives. We invest time in our friendships and our relationship to ourselves. David Kessler, one of the co-authors of the “Five Stages of Grief”, has recently written a new book called “Finding Meaning”, which, he says, is the sixth stage. And there’s a nice line here which says it’s remembering those who have died with more love than pain. All this information can be found at the website, and I hope you’ll check that out.

The body holds grief in a few common places. The lungs, for example, are where practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine feel that this is where we hold grief. And perhaps you might find yourself unable to take a nice full breath, and this is one way to understand why that might be. Another place in the body where we can hold grief is in the heart. Heartache or heartbreak shows up there, and if it lasts too long, this can lead to heart disease and even a heart attack. So it’s important for us to really allow ourselves to feel all of the feelings. I like to say to my clients all is welcome, and what I mean by that is all of your emotions are welcome. It’s important to feel it all. Other things that can happen is we can develop sleep problems, chest pain, and gut issues. So, once again, it’s important to let ourselves feel all the feelings, knowing that this is a very beneficial process.

The tapping script that we’ll be using today I made when working with a client whose husband had died suddenly about six years ago. She found these phrases were true for her, and it’s my hope that they will support your process as well. When we’re doing this tapping, it is a nice thing to do to hold your acupoints underneath your collar bones by placing your spread hand over your heart so that your thumb is underneath one collarbone and your fingers underneath the other collarbone. So let’s begin.

Find yourself sitting or lying, and we’ll begin by taking three calming breaths through the nose and deep into the lungs: inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, and exhale. And then go ahead and place your hand over your heart with your thumb underneath one collarbone and your fingers under the other collarbone. And repeat after me.


Even though I feel this loss, I choose to love and accept myself.

Even though I feel this loss, I choose to love and honor myself.

Even though I feel this loss, I feel this pain, there’s this emptiness, and I don’t know how it’s going to be filled, and I have all these mixed emotions, and I’m not sure how to handle it, and even though I feel this loss, I choose to deeply and completely love, honor, and accept myself and this person that I’ve lost, and everyone else who might be feeling this loss

This sense of loss

All this pain

All this grief

I know that grief is natural

And I don’t need to get rid of it in a hurry

I don’t have to get rid of anything

I accept myself and my feelings

I’m not doing this wrong

I don’t need to hurry up and cheer up for other people

And at the same time

I can allow myself to let go of pain

No one needs me to feel pain

Though I can choose to feel that

And that’s ok

I’m allowed to handle this however I choose to handle it

I’m allowing myself to experience the different feelings

It’s only natural that I should feel them

Allowing myself to have these feelings and move through them

Moving through the feelings of denial and shock

Giving myself permission to accept what is

Moving through these feelings of anger

Maybe I’m angry at this person for leaving me

Maybe I’m angry at myself for things I said or didn’t say

Moving through the bargaining stage

All the deals I want to make about this

If I’m going through that, that’s ok

I’m accepting myself and how I’m handling this

Moving through the guilt

Any guilt that I might be feeling about this loss

Guilt about the things I said or didn’t say

This person doesn’t need me to feel guilty

And yet I accept myself if that’s what I’m feeling

Accepting myself for any sadness or despair that I’m feeling

Allowing myself to let go of whatever pain I can

And loving and accepting myself the whole time

Moving through the fears that might be coming up

All my fears about death

All my fears about how I’m going to handle this

All my fears that I can’t handle it

I love and accept myself even with these feelings

And I’m allowing myself to clear whatever fear I can

Because I am handling this

Maybe not in a way that I think is ideal

And yet I am doing the best I can

Given how I felt about this person

And given the beliefs and patterns I have about grief

And however I handle it is ok

I am handling it

I am getting through this

In my own way and in my own time

I am getting through this

Moving through the loneliness

This person has left a gap

And I’m feeling lonely

I really miss this person

And I feel a lot of pain

As I expect to miss this person

I’m expecting a lot of pain

From not having this person in my life

Part of me might know that they still are in my life

They are still in my heart

And if I consider that everything is energy

And energy cannot be destroyed

I can allow myself to know I’m still connected to this person

And I can choose to take comfort in that

And it’s ok if it takes me some time to get there

I’m accepting myself

And what I’m feeling

The rate at which I process is ok, whatever it is

I am loving and accepting myself

Allowing myself to know

That there isn’t a certain time period

During which I need to feel this way

No one’s keeping track

And if they are, that’s their issue

I am feeling love for this person who has passed

And I choose to know that they love me

And they don’t wish me prolonged suffering

However long it takes me to find peace is ok

And it’s ok if I move through these feelings fairly quickly

I am handling this

Some days better than others

And I still love and accept myself

I’m getting support

Clearing any blocks that keep me from getting support

I am reaching out to people

And I’m allowing people to reach out to me

When I choose to do so

It’s ok for me to take time for myself

It’s ok for me to feel what I’m feeling

And it’s ok to allow myself to feel good

Treating myself with love and respect

I choose to know

That treating myself with love

Is a nice way to honor this person

It’s like I’m saying to them

If you’re not going to be around to show me love,

I’ll just have to pick up the slack

And love myself that much more

I choose to feel their love

Feeling that love now

I treat myself with love and respect

In body, mind, and spirit

Thank you.

That was our Loss and Grief tapping script, which I created using the words from working with a client who had lost her husband suddenly about six years ago. I find that this script has been helpful for me with the loss of my cat, and I wanted to just say too that losing my cat actually brought up the memories of losing my parents as well. I could remember the feeling of my father’s words to me. He said, “I wish I had done more. I wish I could have left you more money. And I said, Well Dad, you gave us time.” So that felt really important to share that with him. And for my mother, knowing that her dementia was only going to get worse, is actually a real relief when she passed. But this loss of my cat brought all of these memories—these fresh feelings of grief—right back up. And so I’ve been able to use this script to help myself process through these emotions. As I say to my clients all is welcome, meaning all emotions are welcome. And when they come up, it’s important to feel them and allow them to process, so they don’t get stuck in our bodies and cause illness and disease.

Today we learned about five stages of grief, remembering that they are nonlinear. They can come and go in no particular order, and we can go back and forth between them—even in moments. The five stages of grief are considered denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and David Kessler has included a sixth stage of meaning. Knowing that not everyone goes through all of these or in any particular prescribed order. Just remembering, your grief is as unique as you are. Thanks for joining in today, and please send yourself some appreciation for doing so. This has been Move Into Coherence. I’m Pamela Stokes. Take it easy. ☺️

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