I noticed that some of my coaching clients were showing signs of grieving. I first certified as a grief counselor, so the symptoms were clear. Some clients seemed unusually sad, permanently resigned and depleted, others were demonstrating anger or unusual signs of depression. According to Elisabeth Kubler Ross, there are five stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance) which occur in no particular order – and it it just so happened that these clients were manifesting all of these, although what was puzzling was that in their case, no one had died.
What I discovered, partly with the help of psychologist Gary Greenberg, is that they are grieving world events. For some, it is the state of our planet and the way their beliefs around what should be done to stop climate change are being ignored. For others, it is Brexit, which have caused them to feel that some part of their identity has been stolen. And for others it is the election of the 45th President of the United States, whose values they do not share.
In all cases, it is as though part of them has died
1. When we grieve, it is not so much for the person who has died as it is for who we once were with them when they were in our world. We are grieving the unconditionally loved son or daughter, the dependable wife or husband, the joyful best friend, who we will never be again to the mother, father, partner, child, friend or dog who has died.
2. Grief is not reserved for our feelings of loss towards a person. We also need to grieve who we once were and will never be again. We can grieve our spent youth or our lost fertility; we need to mourn the opportunities and prospects which time and aging have taken away.
Remy Blumenfeld is a creative life coach living in London. He empowers leaders to play the game of life with purpose, grace and ease. Before training as coach, he launched a TV Production company which created dozens of ground breaking, TV shows.