Experiencing a loss is tough, and facing multiple losses can make coping even more challenging. This compounded feeling is often referred to as “grief overload.” Whether these losses are due to death, divorce, or other life events, it’s essential to find ways to manage and process these emotions.
Grief overload represents the combined emotions and thoughts from the losses you’ve encountered. If you’re currently dealing with feelings of uncertainty or disconnection, this podcast just might be the help you’ve been searching for. I aim to offer practical advice and strategies to help you navigate through grief and find a sense of balance.
Join me this week as I discuss coping with grief overload. I’ll share three straightforward strategies to help you understand and process your feelings, aiding in your journey toward healing and acceptance.
To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving three lucky listeners a free one-to-one coaching session each! All you have to do is follow, rate, and review the show. Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter, I’ll be announcing the winners in an upcoming episode!
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
My own experience of grief overload.
What it means to engage with your thoughts and feelings about grief.
Why feeling disconnected and self-destructive after loss is a common experience.
The common coping mechanisms you may be using to ineffectively cope with your grief overload.
3 ways to overcome grief overload.
Some introspective questions you can ask yourself to decide who you want to be through the experience of grief.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving three lucky listeners a free one-to-one coaching session each! Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter!
Full Episode Transcript:
Are you standing at the crossroads of grief, feeling lost and overwhelmed? If you’re seeking a guiding light through the darkness of sorrow, you’re in the right place.
Welcome to Overcoming Grief, a show for women experiencing profound grief and looking for support in healing and transforming their lives. If you are ready to heal after loss, create a new self-identity, take responsibility to do the hard things, and get massive results in your life, this show is for you. Now, here’s your host, Master Grief and Life Coach, Sandy Linda.
Hello fabulous folks. How are we today? Welcome to a podcast that’s more than words. It’s a journey of healing, strength, and courage. I’m here to teach you practical tools and strategies that have helped my clients to heal, grow, and become fearless in finding their way back to a life full of meaning and hope.
All right, let’s get real. No long, dragging talks that leave you hanging. You’re here for actual solutions, right? Well, you’re in for a treat because we’re diving straight into practical tools and strategies you can put to work today. Hey, I’m not just throwing theories at you. I walk you through real life examples of how my clients and I turn heartbreak into strength and boldness. So if you’re ready to transform pain into power, join me on this path of healing and discovery.
Today’s episode is on grief overload. Navigating the turbulent waters of grief overload, a sea of emotions that can leave us feeling adrift. It’s a complex journey that many of us have walked or will walk at some point. Before discussing this topic, I would like to address those who have recently experienced several losses.
In 2020, Vanessa Bryant mourned the loss of her husband Kobe and her daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash. Then after that incident during the worst days of COVID pandemic, families lost two or even more loved ones daily. Grief overload became a household term. So how do you cope with this emotional downpour?
Let me define grief overload for you. Now, grief overload is that overwhelming outpouring of emotions when loss upon loss floods your heart and mind. Imagine stepping into a time machine and journeying back to the years 2013, 14, and 15, the chapters that turn into the highlights of my life. Just like flipping through the pages of a photo album.
I want to share with you the moments and lessons and experiences that shaped me during these incredible years. So let’s embark on this time travel adventure together and why I chose this particular term grief overload. In December 2013, my mother, my best buddy, and her birthday is this month passed away from pancreatic cancer. I had the two remaining family members to grieve, but 11 months after my mother’s death, my sister lost her battle with breast cancer in November 2014. Wow.
Then my dad and I were left to support each other’s grief. However, in February of 2015, just three months shy after my sister’s death, my dad passed away from a broken heart, otherwise known as a heart attack. I am fun, but caught in the headlights of reality. To get me out of the self-destruction, of self-pity, pain, and isolation, it was time to invest in myself to transform my life circumstances.
I recall a mentor telling me that life is 50/50. Hell yeah, life does have these ebbs and flow, relentless tsunamis of heavy waves to tread along. But there’s beauty in fully embracing and accepting life’s joyful and broken hearted aspects of elevating human experiences.
I am a student and an educator who understands how numerous losses can impact one’s grieving process. I’m here to inform you and empower you about a skill set to embrace sorrow as a friend or as a companion, a buddy who can be there for the good and the hard things when experiencing devastating losses in a short amount of time.
Imagine having several losses hit you all at once. It’s like burying grief beneath a mountain of daily task. Now grief has a way of sneaking up to you, but society often silences expression. People are bold to those waving and saying move the fuck on already.
Have you had those expressive comments thrown at you by family or friends? Those folks have little insight regarding their part in healing, but those feelings pile up waiting for our attention. Distress was simply build, accumulate, and waits for you to take care of it as a friend and a longtime companion. So let’s talk about embracing the messiness.
Before I provide the tips and strategies for overcoming grief overload, I want you to engage in your thoughts and feelings. In grief overload, it’s like untwisting knot of emotions. Your grief represents the total realization of everything you think and feel due to the losses that you have endured to your grief overload.
When you have those massive thoughts of uncertainty, you may feel an endless sense of shock and disconnection, making it challenging to connect with your deep emotion. Some of my grief overload survivors have described to me as if they were outside of themselves looking in.
Is this how you’re feeling? If the losses are just too much to absorb, you may feel numb and unable to get in touch with your more in depth feelings. You will feel like you’re constantly in a daze or dreamlike state. Another feeling is anger. That is something I will discuss on a next episode.
But here I want to talk about it briefly that anger, when it comes to your heartbreaking losses whether it’s from a death or divorce, it’s natural. It’s an outcry. Like shouting when reality is too much. But if left unchecked, anger can build walls between you and healing. The final feeling is also denial and avoidance. That’s another feeling and thoughts that you may be going through. That might seem protective, but they become walls. They hide your pain and keep you from real connections.
I remember feeling alone after my losses, loneliness leads to depression, negative influences, and self-destruction. So Sandy, how do I transform this? Well, I’m glad you asked. So here are three ways to help you overcome grief overload.
Number one, acknowledge the reality of loss. Now, you have suffered a great deal of loss. In the face of so much loss, it can be tempting to look away. It can seem easier not to turn your attention toward the losses and look straight at them. It is better coping strategy to remain in numbness and anger. Now grief responds to awareness.
Begin by acknowledging the losses that have resulted in your grief overload and understand their significance in your life. Initially, you may acknowledge your losses with your mind. But eventually you’ll start to feel the reality of those losses in your hearts.
Number two, embracing intrusive thoughts and feelings. To come to terms with your losses and begin the healing process, it’s essential to form a connection with your thoughts and feelings. There is a lot to think about and a lot to feel. Take the time to understand them and allow yourself to experience any emotion that may arise. Society often tells us that we should highlight happiness and move on.
It is true that we cannot regain our joy and make progress in life without first going through the painful aspects that comes with love. Pain is love. You feel pain when separated from your loved ones, or when a hope for a future love and attachment is shattered. Even though you are now disconnected or separated from what you love or hope for, your love doesn’t stop. Your love goes on, but it’s painful because there’s a hole in the heart to receive that particular love. The emptiness hurts and this is normal and necessary.
Writing in a journal is a way to encounter those busy body thoughts, and then talk it out with a trusted listener with a sustainable understanding of the grief overload, a grief advocate. Expressing your thoughts and emotions through writing and reviewing and sharing them with a trusted listener specializing in grief can facilitate a meaningful and constructive dialogue.
The last one is develop a new identity, begin to start reinventing yourself. The people, pets, places, and things we love are all parts of ourselves identities. For example, I’m a daughter. I’m a pet mom, a sister, and a friend. I am a professional real estate consultant, a life coach with grief expertise, a podcaster, a mental health advocate, and an author. I am a New Yorker that loves traveling to adventurous luxurious destinations.
Now, all of these aspects are part of my self-identity. When any of them are threatened or severed in any way, this leaves a big hole that forces me to patch myself up, making myself a new person. Because now without my parents, I became an orphan. That was hard to overcome that, but it was a lesson learned. Because I always advise those who have experienced extensive loss, and your self-identity may suffer many blows. You may feel full gaps right now. Rebuilding yourself into a new hole will be hard but worthwhile work.
Here are some questions that I recommend doing, introspection of your new self-identity. Who are you now? Who are you no longer? Have there been any things that you had to let go? Have these experiences impacted you and your growth? What do you envision yourself in the future? As you process your different sources of sorrow, you may discover that each one impacts your sense of self in distinct ways.
It is natural and vital to dive deeper into all of these aspects. Grief is not something we can simply get over. Instead, we must accept our losses and adapt our way of life to move forward with a sense of purpose and meaning while still processing our emotions and cherishing what we lost.
Let’s take a moment to recap the essence of our journey through the layers of grief. Remember, the three essential needs of coping is acknowledge the loss, embrace intrusive thoughts, and develop a new identity. Grief is what you feel inside. Mourning is expressing that outside. It’s like untwisting those emotions bit by bit with trusted listeners. Dive into your thoughts and feelings. Patching up your self-identity with introspection.
Your reconciled grief will transform you into a new and different person. You may wish things could be as they were before, but they cannot. So your goal becomes working your way toward a new normal that feels whole and purposeful. I urge you to be patient and gentle with yourself along the way. There is no deadline.
Grief overload is a very real and challenging problem in life right now. It has become a public health issue. I have to say some folks have been getting a little better about recognizing and talking openly about grief and the need to mourn. Although some stigma still exists, individuals like myself and others are becoming more knowledgeable about grief and its effects.
I am hopeful for your healing. I hope you are too. I encourage you to intentionally jumpstart and nurture your own hopefulness. So enjoy this process. Sit down with yourself. Then one of the things you can do that’s cool. Once you have done writing out your answers, read them to a trusted listener.
So let’s tackle grief overload one lesson at a time. It’s about finding hope and understanding and becoming whole again. Give yourself time to embrace the journey and believe in the transformation power of reconciled grief. That is all that I have for you today. I hope you enjoy, and I look forward to the next episode. Have a great day everyone.
To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away three lucky listeners one to one coaching sessions who follow, rate, review the show. Now the one to one coaching spot is complimentary. It’s just gathering data. I’m allowing you to take the guesswork out of gathering data about your loss and paying attention to the subtle shifts of how you think and feel about your heartbreaking losses in one session.
If you’re craving a more validating experience with grief that sticks even when discomfort sets in then one of my coaching spots has your name on it. It doesn’t have to be a five star review. Although I sure hope you love the show. I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value. Visit www.SandyLinda.com/PodcastLaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. Be quick. You don’t have long. I’ll be announcing the winners on this show in an upcoming episode.
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Overcoming Grief. If you’re ready to move into a new, rewarding life experience, and want more information about how to work with Sandy, visit www.sandylinda.com.