It feels so nice when you start to see longer breaks between grief waves. Then all of a sudden a tsunami seems to push you back right where you started. In today’s episode I’m going to tell you exactly what to do when this happens, and why it’s not as big of a problem as you think.
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There is no such thing as a grief setback. Well, that was a short episode. Uh, I’m just kidding. I know a lot of my clients struggle with feeling like they’ve hit some huge setbacks or even little ones, and I wanted to address it here so you know what to do when you feel like you’re back at square one.
I don’t think it matters where you are in your grief. These setbacks are. Bound to occur, so you’ll wanna keep listening all the way to the end because I’ve got so much good information for you. October is almost upon us, and that means pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. This is a beautiful time to honor and remember our babies.
If it’s your first time going into October’s Pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Let me give you a hug and walk with you into it. You can make this month anything you want. Now, if this isn’t your first rodeo, you know what I mean when I say awareness? Month exhaustion. Whether you’re raising money for a charity, planning an event, participating in social media, and sharing your story, or just thinking about your baby and all your lost mom’s babies extra.
It can be difficult to find a balance so you don’t end up feeling emotionally exhausted and burned out by the time the month is over. Seeing so much grief express can be cathartic, but also a little bit overwhelming, and then you feel kind of guilty because you have to step back and you might feel like you’re failing because you had big plans and you just can’t find the motivation to keep going with your goals.
Crawling into bed and watching Netflix is what you find yourself doing instead. And I get it. I’ve been there and I’ve got the solution for you. Next week we’re gonna be coming together for a workshop designed specifically to help you avoid awareness month exhaustion. You don’t go into a marathon without any training.
Any plan, any supplies, or any kind of support team, why would you jump into October without any tools to help you be ready to pace yourself for the long haul? So I’ve designed this workshop. It is gonna be on Wednesday, October 5th at 10:00 AM Mountain Time, which is 12 Eastern, nine Pacific. And. If you cannot come live, you can come to the replay.
It is gonna be two action packed hours, like we are gonna put so much into these two hours. You are gonna come out of there with a plan of what you wanna do, how you wanna share what your goals are, and then also a plan. To go along with that of how you’re gonna take care of yourself, take care of your mental health, take care of your energy so that you don’t end up in November just curled up in a ball with all the leftover Halloween candy.
And if that workshop wasn’t enough, I have a bonus for you. I have a secret Facebook group for people who are joining the workshop, and in there you are gonna get my help the entire month of October. I’ve never done this before. It’s a new thing. I’m trying to see how it goes, but. The thing is, a workshop is great.
You are gonna get so much goodness. But sometimes we have a hard time applying what we learned, especially when things get busy. And I understand you’re busy. That’s why I think a Facebook group is perfect because you can go there when you have time. You don’t have to make things at a certain, um, hour.
Right. Just come when you can ask your questions. I’ll be there to give you coaching. I will have like little videos and inspiration and tips, all kinds of things all throughout the month. And all of this is only $10. You guys. It’s crazy. I wanted this to be accessible to literally everyone. So I hope you’ll come to the workshop, go on the show notes or go to smooth stones coaching.com/workshop and I will take care of you.
You will be in. Tell your friends. Bring your friends. I feel like every lost mom needs to be in this group to set themselves up for success in October. All right. Talking some more about October. Heading into this month can be feeling like you’re tiptoeing through a minefield and hoping you don’t hit a setback.
So let’s use the wave of light as an example. It is a special event where people light candles at 7:00 PM in their local time and leave them burning for an hour in this wave, a wave of light that goes all around the world. People post pictures online and invite their friends and family to join them.
It’s all very heartwarming. Until you start seeing each candle as a baby who has died, and you start feeling immense sadness for how much grief these candles represent. And then you get angry that so many people are affected by loss and it spirals. So you have, do you guys feel what I’m saying here? You end up in tears feeling pretty close to the way you did when your baby first died.
Now, if you come to my workshop or you’re coaching with me, you’re gonna have everything you need to deal with this. But if you’re not, What usually ends up happening is on top of the sadness and the anger, you’re gonna start to judge yourself for going backwards in your grief. It sounds a lot like, I thought I was doing okay until that stupid wave of light.
Why am I so upset? I thought I had worked through all of this. Why is this happening now when I’m fi I’ve finally been feeling better. I hate feeling this way. What was the point of all this work I’ve done? I guess I didn’t really heal after all. This is an extra layer of pain that is not necessary, and it comes directly from what we are making.
Our normal grief reactions mean. Notice what you make it mean when you have a tough day or you get triggered. A lot of times it’s simply intense emotions or intense crying that will have us believing we’re back to where we started. But sometimes it’s even feeling off for a day or a week and realizing it’s because of grief that will cause your brain to offer the thought that you’re starting over, that you’ve hit a setback.
But this is a lie. It’s a lie. Your brain is telling you. A setback means you slow or reverse the progress you’ve made, but you haven’t done that at all. You can’t start over. You can’t go backwards. The only reality is you today with all the things you’ve been through and learned, you who are a human being, who is supposed to experience 50% emotions you like and 50% uncomfortable emotions.
Grief isn’t supposed to be linear. We kind of know this intellectually and we’ve heard people say it or we’ve seen the graphics about grief not being a straight line, but somewhere inside we still kind of think it should be linear. We think that waves should hit less and less often. We think that they should only come up on obvious days for obvious reasons.
We think that so-called bad days should get fewer and farther between, and when they do come, we should spot them in avert disaster before anything bad really happens. All of these thoughts are why you think you’ve had a setback and they are why you judge yourself so harshly when you do. Now, it’s okay that we have all these underlying beliefs.
You almost can’t help it. Growing up in the culture that we do, we’re just not that good at understanding grief, and we’re very data driven. We love some good statistics and a schedule, and so when grief pops in to say hello when we’re least expecting it, It throws us off our pretty chart. We’re also all perfectionists on some level, and so when we attach a meaning of failure to not being able to attend your cousin’s baby shower, even though you’re happy for her and you’ve been to three other showers and you were just fine for those, but you’re sitting outside the house and in tears not being able to go in, that’s when your brain tells you you’re messing this all up.
Don’t believe your brain don’t believe everything you think. I know someone who had her entire restaurant and they had built burned down and she lamented that they were back at square one. It’s pretty understandable to be looking at the smoldering rubble of your business and think that way. I gently reminded her that she wasn’t though.
They had so much knowledge and everything they had created in all the years they were in business was still within them. They knew how to hire, who to fire, how to streamline ordering, how to make the best food, and how to market. None of that was gone. It was all just going to move into a new building and all their experience will probably help them make it even better than what they had before.
Is it uncomfortable having to go through that rebuilding process? Yes. But are you really back at square one? No. You cannot be. The only thing that is really gonna slow your progress is if you give up. And you’re not gonna do that. Not when you have me to coach you through this. I’m not gonna let you. The truth is, you can’t heal any faster or any slower than you already are.
You are on exactly the timeline you are supposed to be. That last meltdown was on the exact day for the exact reason it was meant to be. You cannot mess this up. What would be different if you truly, deeply in your bones believe that you are exactly where you are supposed to be in your life? In your grief, all of it.
When you open up to believe in this, there’s a huge rush of relief and peace. You probably didn’t even realize how much pressure you were putting on yourself until you let it go. After Lauren died, I told myself I’d just be. Really sad as long as it took, but for sure in the first year, anything I felt was fine.
I could be as sad as I wanted. I know that one year is not magic, but for me, I took the old idea of a year of mourning and really leaned into it, and it was a blessing to me just to give myself permission to be a fully grieving mother. After River died, I had a lot of anger. I had health issues and mistakes were made by medical providers.
That caused us emotional pain and everything combined together dragged out my healing. I was also anger with God and I just didn’t wanna talk to him after that for a really long time, which was very outta character for me. As someone who always prayed, I held onto that low level misery for a long time.
And I didn’t care. It wasn’t the same kind of intention as I was able to set after Lauren died. But in a way, I did just allow myself to be exactly where I was until I was tired of it and I wanted to let go. I could have told myself that I shouldn’t still be angry. Two years later, I could have told myself that I should cry more instead of keeping everything inside and pretending it was fine.
But I didn’t. There is so much power in just accepting where you are in your grief. Now I’m gonna circle back to what I said at the top of the show. Grief, setbacks do not exist because nothing you can do or not do will change the reality of your path. Embracing reality will bring you peace. Drop any timelines or meanings you are attaching to your process.
It’s already perfect. Messy. Yes, it’s supposed to be. It’s a lot easier to grieve when you understand that this is all a part of it. Becoming friends with grief is one of the best things you can do for yourself and everyone around you. That’s something I help each of my clients do. Now, don’t forget to sign up for the workshop.
The link’s gonna be in the show notes. Stop telling yourself that you’re having setbacks and just lean into right where you are. You can do this. I believe in you and I love you. I’ll see you next time. Are you tired of feeling like your baby’s death was somehow your fault? Go to com and get my free mini.
How to Stop Blaming Yourself After Loss.