Ep #28: Finding Transformation in Grief and Living a Purposeful Life

Overcoming Grief with Sandy Linda | Finding Transformation in Grief and Living a Purposeful Life
Overcoming Grief with Sandy Linda | Finding Transformation in Grief and Living a Purposeful Life

Do you remember your first experience of grief in your life? How has the emotional storm of loss changed you as a person? Grief has gifted me many unexpected lessons in my own life, and I’m sharing them on today’s show, so you can get a clearer perspective on the lessons available in your own experience of loss.

Maybe you lost a grandparent when you were a child, and all the adults around you shut out the grief and just carried on with their normal routines. Perhaps you were a little older, but you didn’t have any examples of the best ways to process your grief, so you stuffed it down. But now you’re an adult, it’s time to dive deep and address the harder lessons that grief has to offer us.

Tune in this week to discover the valuable lessons I’ve learned from grief. I’m sharing the unique growth and intention that is available when we really tune into our experience of loss, and you’ll learn how to use the transformative power of grief as a catalyst for living a more meaningful future.

Are you ready to navigate the mourning process and connect with your emotions? Click here to get my Mourning Journaling Workbook to help you embrace your internal grief, expressing it through writing!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What we’re often taught from a young age about grief and death.
  • Why grief is one of the toughest curveballs life can throw at you.
  • Some of the lessons that grief has to offer us, if we look for them.
  • Why grief isn’t something you can hack.
  • How to transform your experience of grief into powerful motivation for growth.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Do you remember your first experience with grief in your life? Stay tuned as I embrace the unexpected lessons that grief has taught me throughout my life.

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, beautiful souls. How are you all feeling today? Well, we had our snow storm here in New York City. It was exciting, but cold outside from my walk. It was good. However, I had the pleasure to connect with a friend, and we talked about life and how things reshaped us after going through emotional storms.

But before I begin, I wanted to check up on you and see if you have signed up to be part of my community insider. You only know certain updates that I only share through email. I want to keep you in the loop on exciting highlights coming up. All you need to do is go to my website, sandylinda.com, hit the subscribe button, and join. As a thank you for joining you’ll receive a free gift morning journaling workbook.

I have to say writing has the power to be healing, an outlet for emotional struggles, allowing us to recover and find comfort through the storms. Also, I would greatly appreciate it if you could rate and review my show on any podcast. Your feedback is invaluable as it helps me reach and support more individuals who, like you, are looking to move beyond the pain of grief and develop a purposeful life. By sharing your thoughts and experiences, you are precious to our community. You’re helping us all grow and live with intention. Thanks for being a part of it. Now let’s get into the show.

So I had surgery two weeks ago and my dear friend from the online world was paying a visit to New York City. She’s from California. She’s from the West Coast, and I’m on the East Coast. We have been talking online for about two or three years, and it was time to meet in person. So I was so excited for her visit that we met in the city for brunch and had a delightful conversation about moving through our grief.

We were pacing back and forth on how the lessons reshaped our identity as adults without our parents, and it gave me an idea for this episode. Now, at the start of our journey today, I asked you to reflect on your first encounter with grief. Well, I experienced the death of a loved one when I was seven years old. My grandpa, who was my father’s father, died of a heart attack. Yes, there were tears and laughter, but after a week of sadness, everybody returned to their normal routine. In my childhood, I experienced those whispers of loss, which means he’s dead, and we need to move on with our lives. So grief was shut out. I don’t think we ever discussed the death or the grief of my grandpa ever again.

Then during my high school years, I learned about the stages of grief. In Catholic school, they had this course on death and dying. Then another death happened that affected my sister. She was devastated by her best friend’s death from cancer. It appears she went through the stages of grief. You know the stages. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

After a month of her grievances, she went back to her normal routine. It has been fascinating to learn during my earlier years, I was not literate with grief. Whenever I was told someone died, I was told to say I’m sorry for your loss or my condolences, and if there’s anything I can do, please let me know. After sending my condolences, I would never hear from the person who is experiencing the loss. It was like they left without saying goodbye, or they were on their own to figure out their grievances. Again, there was not much literature besides the stages of grief.

As I reached middle adulthood, life threw curveballs at me. Grief can be the toughest one to catch. Here I was drowned in a river of misery and sorrow to encounter devastating losses. It’s a journey mark not only by death, but also by the loss of friendships and the unsettling uncertainty of future shattered plans. Going through the silence of loss during my childhood and now navigating the sorrows of middle adulthood was not an easy task to heal.

I had to face some hard ass lessons about grief. 10 years ago, before the devastating loss, I was clueless about sorrow. I thought I had understood the unfortunate events and what it meant to grieve. But all that changed the moment the dark visit from death changed and taught me otherwise. What if you could transform that experience into a powerful motivation for growth and intention. I will share how grieving can help you thrive and be fulfilled unexpectedly.

So here are some points I will discuss on what I’ve learned about my grief. Embracing the messy journey, open communication, forgiving yourself, becoming a compassionate observer, and using loss as a catalyst. So are you ready to explore the transformative power of grief and discover how it can pave the way for a meaningful future?

I want to remind you that grief is not something you can hack. I did not follow any of the linear grief models. Why put so much stress on the stages of grief and then have the ability to go into the acceptance stage when I’m already overwhelmed with grief overload? Grief does not stop. It just reshapes our identity and elevates our human experiences.

Multiple losses is something that was devastating, but a journey to learn. Now, if you have experienced the death of a parent or sibling, I’m aware that it is a highly personalized event for individuals. Most people are fundamentally changed by the loss of a parent. That change may be positive, negative, or neutral.

Even though I was emotionally devastated by the losses, it had both the positive and negative consequences in dealing with the grief. I had to restructure and reassemble myself to a greater maturity, into adulthood. I no longer had that childhood identity. I had to transform into an adult, missing that childhood love from my mom and dad. The turning point in adulthood was to answer two questions. Who am I? How will I operate in this world?

I had to do a personal reassessment of myself. I had to figure out ways I could fit into a world where demands and opportunities have changed. Instead of holding a grudge against people who could not be my emotional support squad, I faced fear with grief alone. It was messy. But let’s learn about the journey. I hope this will inspire you to have the desire to heal and develop a more purposeful life. All right, so the first step of my lesson on grief was embracing the messy grief journey. It was all about recognizing my grief’s unique path and allowing it to flow without judgment or shame. I know that what you’re saying is that’s not easy, but it took time to realize that in order for me to heal through my grief, I had to embrace the messiness of it.

Understanding about judgment, about guilt, about resentment, bitterness, all of that. It was a tough lesson, but it opened my heart and mind and acknowledged that it’s okay that I’m not okay and to embrace it in a way that I can really acknowledge the fact that grief is a human experience allowing us to grow and heal from any shame that we had encountered or any judgment with it.

Because in those days, I used to be that person on the other side that I didn’t understand it and would tell the person if you needed any help. Now that I am facing it, I was also probably mad, probably like the other person from what I’ve learned from their experiences, when people told me they’re sorry. If you need anything, please give me a call.

I used to be like well, I’m in a hardcore mess. I really do need some help. But do you understand what I’ve been through? Some people could not understand how to process the grief that I went through because mine was very impactful, and it gave people to just back away. I had to eventually walk alone on this journey, but with some books and some therapy that helped me to acknowledge that grief is a process and allowing it to be my companion.

The second step was open communication. Honoring the power of honest and vulnerable connection. So when it came to engaging in conversations about what I was going through, yes, I went through bereavement. I also did therapy. I’ve talked to them. I had the tools to get back to functioning. That was beautiful. It gave me a chance to understand how to function and who I am without my parents, and that took work.

It also gave me the opportunity to engage with someone who had gone through the experience of multiple losses. But I was not able to find any person or any valuable input who’ve gone through multiple losses until 2020 came. Then it was an opportunity to engage in the conversations because even though it was so recent, I had the opportunity to talk to some people who’ve gone through multiple losses and how they are struggling with finding their path to healing without their parents or their siblings. It was a journey. It was tough.

The next step was about self-forgiveness. I know this part, for everyone, some are not willing to take this step to open their heart to forgiveness. The thing with forgiveness, from what I’ve learned, is that it’s hard to forgive and forget, right. That’s some terminology that I’ve heard people talk about.

But during this path, I gently release the burden of blame and offer myself grace in the face of loss. Forgiveness lightens the hearts. It allows you to expand your mind and be in a place of love and compassion for yourself. Trust me, I place blame on others. I put the resentment and bitterness, but I had to look within and start looking at what forgiveness means to me and how I can take on the path to healing.

The fourth step is becoming a compassionate observer. So witnessing grief, with open eyes and a gentle heart allowed me to see myself and others who are experiencing a unique grief journey. Just like me and my friend, we were having such deep conversations about our journey. Her journey was different from mine, but we had such a great connection that we were compassionate with each other without hijacking each other’s conversations about grief because we were an active listener.

Because when it comes to this type of work, it’s all about having those active listening skills and listening to their heartfelt stories with a compassionate heart. Becoming a compassionate observer has been a journey. It’s allowed me to have deep meaningful conversations, such as my friend, because her grief was in a different area, whereas mine was deep, deep, deep. But she took the time to listen and engage in conversation with me. She was also a compassionate observer.

The last step of grief that I’ve learned is that using loss as a catalyst, recognizing how loss can illuminate unexpected strength and opportunities for growth. I took the initiative to allow me to embrace the loss with my gentle heart, but there was some bitterness, I’m not going to lie. It’s a journey that has those mixed emotions, and it’s okay that you go through this journey in order for you to open your heart and mind and discover how you can best fit in a world that sometimes can be messy. I get it.

Those were my lessons that I learned about grief. Because it’s going to be messy. It’s going to show us that we need to forgive ourselves. We have to have that open communication and have a compassionate observer to be the listening ear, someone that’s listening and not hijacking the conversation. Showing the light after that loss and growing through it and becoming more purposeful and a more fearless leader in this adventure of grief.

So through all of that I’ve experienced, I have been inspired to continue to learn and grow from these experiences because I have to say that it has been an enlightening experience because it’s helping me to understand the real world. Because now I am faced with adulthood. No longer have that childhood identity because my parents are no longer here. I can’t run to mom and dad anymore.

Sometimes my guiding light, I embrace spirituality most of the time, but not going to get into that right now. That’s for another podcast. But I wanted to embrace these lessons with you. If you ever come across this grief journey, I hope these lessons inspire you to embrace the messiness of the journey and learn how you can grow from it.

I hope this episode has helped you out. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at [email protected]. I would love to hear your feedback or suggestions on areas that you want to hear more of on this podcast. Thank you so much for listening, and have a great day. Bye.

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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.

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