TC329: Grief Recovery with guest Mikki Wade
On this week’s show we welcome back Mikki Wade, a pastor and certified grief recovery practitioner. Mikki describes what grief is, describes the signs to look for in yourself and others, and discusses some of the common myths associated with grief.
What is grief?
According to John W. James and Russell Friedman, “Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change of a familiar pattern of behavior.”
Grief can be the result of any change, positive or negative. It can be triggered by death of a loved one, divorce, loss of health, loss of a job, financial issues, abuse, and many other events. It can also be triggered by positive changes like getting a new job and moving to a new city.
Updated to commemorate its 20th anniversary, the Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman further explores the effects of grief and sheds new light on how to begin to take effective actions to complete the grieving process and work towards recovery and happiness.
Common responses to grief:
Reduced concentration – you may go the the kitchen and then forget why you went there
A sense of numbness – physically, emotionally, or both
Disturbed sleep patterns – not being able to sleep or sleeping too much, or both alternately
Change in eating habits – grievers may have no appetite or may eat nonstop, or both alternately
Roller coaster of emotional energy – emotional highs and lows that can be emotionally and physically draining
These are all normal and natural responses to loss. Their duration is unique to every individual. They are not stages and they do not always occur. Do not allow anyone to create time frames or stages for you.
Trying to overcome grief with your head is like trying to paint a room with a hammer. Good luck with that.
Myths about grief:
The following are common ways we’re told to get over grief, either directly or modeled by the behavior of others. They are labeled “myths” because these methods are no more effective than treating a gushing wound to the body by “just getting over it” would be.
Don’t feel bad – don’t cry, just get over it, etc. Trying to suppress your natural reaction to loss won’t make things better.
Replace the loss – replace the loss with food, or a substitute for what or who you’ve lost. Daughter: “My dog died!” Dad: “Don’t cry, we’ll buy you another dog on Saturday”.
Grieve alone – don’t cry in front of others. “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone”. We’re told to hide our feelings and not bother others.
Just give it time – “Time heals all wounds”. No it doesn’t. Actions taken over time heals the wound.
Be strong for others – We say “I’m fine” when asked how we are, even if we’re not fine. We perpetuate the lie and act like there is nothing wrong.
Keep busy – being busy will keep your mind off your loss, and you’ll eventually get over it. Again, this doesn’t work.
A griever needs to be listened to, not fixed.
About Mikki Wade
Mikki Wade is the founder and CEO of True Reality, Inc., an inspirational speaker, life coach and author. Born in Central Africa, Mikki’s childhood was not an easy one. Like many, his family was a dysfunctional one and as a result he didn’t have a good relationship with his father. His mother, however, meant the world to him. When Mikki was 12, his father moved him and his siblings back to America where he was originally from. Mikki’s mother, however, stayed behind. She died the following year and, living miles away, Mikki never got to say goodbye.
Today, Mikki measures his success by balance; balanced Finances, Relationships, Emotions, Spirituality and Health (F.R.E.S.H.). Mikki desires to share how others can be balanced too through his workshops and and through the Grief Recovery Method® classes he facilitates.