Grief & Loss
In order to explain my passion for helping people through grief and loss, I need to share my own personal experiences.
I lost my biological father, who I never met, at the age of 13 – a complicated loss in that you’re always aware there is something missing that you should have had. I lost my beloved Nan at 21 who had provided me with security in an otherwise unstable childhood. I lost my favourite auntie in my late 20’s. The mother of my children died when I was 29 and my Grandad took his own life months later, following a termincal cancer diagnosis.
Personal experience aside, some of my biggest realisations in the complexity of loss have been through providing bereavement coaching to my clients exploring their own grief. My main fascination is in identifying not just the natural impact of loss, but also the forms of self-sabotage and self-imposed rules that we put on ourselves in the wake of loss, which create more struggle than is needed.
So it brings me immense pride and satisfaction to collate everything I’ve learnt on the subject personally, as a father, as a friend and as a coach in order to offer help support, perspective and guidance to those that find themselves in the clutches of grief.
Our personal relationship with grief is unique, absolutely lacking in rules and boundaries. You as a person are different to every other human being on the planet so it makes perfect sense that no two people would ever grieve identically given that their loss could be so dissimilar in the processing of the trauma and the circumstances leading to that event.
You may have lost someone from your life without the opportunity to say goodbye, you may have lost someone from your life at the end of a struggle with cancer, you may have to deal with losing someone and feeling that you could have done more to save them. The possibilities of the end are invariably end-less so bare this in mind when searching for the exact science behind bereavement because nobody can decide how you cope but yourself.
We don’t ask for the need to read this book but we certainly do have a strong hand in how we process the information from here on and our experience of death through those we love is absolutely parallel to the choices you make from here on.
Will you give yourself permission to cry? Will you load yourself with feelings of blame and guilt? Will you hide your emotions from the kids to ‘protect’ them? Will you pretend somewhat convincingly to feel nothing? Nothing at all?
The way you feel in grief is dependent upon a multitude of factors, your relationship with the individual, your faith in what happens next, the acceptance of the outcome from the person you have lost, your psychological and physical well-being, your perception of what is appropriate, your attitude towards the post-loss behaviour of family members, the additional responsibilities begrudgingly gained in their absence to name but a few.
The point is, you’re not alone here, there’s countless ways to make grief less harsh and eventually become manageable. However, there are even more ways to unwittingly make a bereavement harder. I hope this book can in some way help you with the former.
Order a copy of Jeff’s ‘The Grief Survival Guide’ now from Amazon by clicking here.