Grief, loss and depression

After two huge losses in my life which happened within two months of each other, I was plunged into the world - or more like the foreign land - of grief. I had no idea what was happening to me but it was as though my world literally switched from colour to black and white.


I felt like I was doing everything on automatic like a robot, and somehow food tasted like nothing. Morning arrived and produced a sinking feeling in my stomach. I lost interest in myself, and functioning in between sobbing was all that I could manage. I think the worst was that other people talking and laughing and enjoying their lives seemed like an assault to my senses and sent waves of feeling complete alienation from the rest of the human race.

My feelings overwhelmed me. This felt like it took up every nook and cranny of my inner world and emotional landscape. But, of course, nobody else was aware of this. And yet, I couldn't imagine how something achingly apparent was not visible to others. I was a therapist after all - how come I couldn't manage my own pain?

But I couldn't, that was the undeniable long and short of it. And it was because I am human. Somehow, I had forgotten that because I had learnt that it is not what you know but how you feel, in spite of me knowing a whole raft of stuff, I could not reach myself with it. I needed help, and trust me help with this kind of pain is thin on the ground.

So, I made up my mind once I had accepted my own fallibility and brokenness, to learn. And through that, to both heal and help myself and be what I needed so desperately for myself and for others going through the isolating journey of loss and grief.

So, I did a further course in the recovery of grief and became a Grief Recovery Specialist, primarily because part of the course was 'completing' my own loss. But truly, if someone had said row to wherever in a green canoe and the pain will leave you, I would have done it! But it worked, and here is some of what I learned.

A lot of the pain is about what is unsaid. So, getting that down on paper, writing it out and sharing that with a trained person who is just a heart with ears can be so cathartic.

The pain of loss or grief lies around if you have not 'completed', robbing us of our joy and thwarting our moving on. Grief and grieving are not just about death and losing someone you love but also so many other losses. It can be recent or long ago or caused by more than 40 or so other losses than you might encounter in a lifetime. It can even be about the awareness that your life is not as happy or fulfilling as you might want it to be.

I can't tell you how you feel, because nobody can. Regardless of the cause of your broken heart, you know how you feel, and it probably isn't good.

Grief is a normal reaction to loss of any kind and, yet, we are socialised to feel that it is unnatural or that we should hide these feelings.

We are socialised to always show our best face; our learned response becomes to suppress and hide, which is why grieving is such an isolating experience as well as painful. So, when we grieve, we can often feel like we don't belong - we feel disconnected. These feelings can lead to depression, which further isolates us with feelings of worthlessness as if somehow our loss is about us and deserved.

A snow falls inside of us and the pain, still and silent, veils our true nature and our responses and our value seem paled.

So, this is what you do. You admit to yourself that, for whatever reason, your heart is broken. This is not who you are or your identity, it is about something you are bravely going through.

Self-care tips

You take care of simple things like:


You need to get enough rest. This is really important especially as grief often (as well as depression) changes and affects our sleep patterns. So, that means early nights, winding down before bed, YouTube meditations, comfort like hot water bottles under your knees or feet or lower back or shoulders if you are tense.

Eat well

Tomatoes and plums are good for depression, and Omega 3 rich foods. Look into your diet - it can be a wonderful way of self-nurturing.

Talk to someone

Something shared with the right person is so helpful. Find someone you can really tell the truth to - it could be a friend, family member, a coach or even a therapist. It's a lifeline and source of comfort.

Move your body

Get outside as soon as you can in the morning, even if you throw your coat over your pyjamas. You can change your entire headspace by being outside, it never fails. It always helps change your headspace and makes you feel more engaged in the world rather than living on the outside of it. Nature is such a blessing, leaves, trees, birdsong. You can take photos and keep a journal of your path back to yourself and mending.

Bach flower remedies

I have been using Bach flower remedies for 30 years and they have helped so many recover from painful circumstances and losses. As a Bach flower practitioner, they have paved the way for so many. They are completely natural.

I do hope these things help you know more than anything that you are not alone, and you will come through this. Love to you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, N8
Written by Gail Berry, Emotional and Relationship Coach
London, N8

Written by Gail Berry Emotional Coach - both a therapist and an alternative medical practitioner who works with healing people’s core wounds and uses Bach Flower Remedies alongside talking and behavioural therapy to make real change and transformation possible.

07771 715072
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