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Golden Heart Transition

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© 2024

Golden Heart Transition

In Honor of Grief… and Grief Awareness Day

Over millennia, much has been written about grief, most of it poetic and beautiful, and yet so much has been left unsaid and unacknowledged. Only in the last 50 years has grief really been studied by academicians, and yet I believe, compared to other emotional wounds, too little comprehension has been gained. Many more pages still need to be filled with new and deeper levels of understanding for the one type of suffering we will all share at least once (and often multiple times) in our lives.

For some examples… the world has only just begun to scratch the surface and unravel the knots on how grief and trauma intertwine and feed upon each other. And new information has been discovered about how grief is stored in our bodies. And, what about childhood grief? This topic in particular makes my heart ache. Do you feel it too?

We must as a society do better! We must continuously open our hearts to the suffering of others and embrace and acknowledge that suffering by remembering that “there, but for the grace of God, go I” as we will all experience death and loss one day.

Only just about 10 days ago, I learned that August 30th was National Grief Awareness Day. How could I as an end of life/death professional, not be aware of such an important day for my field? Because I wanted to know more, I reached out to my niece, who also works in end of life care as a hospice social worker. But it turned out that she and other colleagues didn’t know anything about it either.

Sadly, I think it says a lot about how we, as a society, recognize and honor grief, or rather fail to recognize and honor grief, when we do not even have awareness about a day created specifically to be aware of it. Is this yet more evidence that we have no interest in talking about grief as a friend, a community, a country? I wonder.

Isn’t it also interesting and ironic that we have spent the last two and a half years trying to come to grips with our losses as a nation around the pandemic and the institutionalized racial injustices that brought so many into the streets, yet now we seem to want to turn away as though it never happened? It seems that we’re shrugging “it” off… the people we and our neighbors lost in one way, or another. We’re ready to turn away from the suffering and find other distractions so we don’t have to face the feelings any longer. How interesting and yet, I believe, universal that response is.

So, what’s really going on here? Are we so callous and heartless that we don’t want to acknowledge others’ grief or even acknowledge a day to make us aware of ours and others’ individual and collective grief? I don’t believe that’s the reason. I think our reaction is based primarily on 3 things… our fears of our own mortality and the mortality of those we love, our habits conditioned in us from society and our family units, and our level of unconsciousness in facing emotionally challenging issues.

We have been conditioned over our lifetimes to simply pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and carry on. The pace of our lives (particularly those of us living in the U.S.) demands it of us. We are not societally “given permission” to be with our grief. Even workplaces allow only 5 days maximum for bereavement of a close family member. After 5 days, most folks are barely coming out of the “shock phase” following the death of a loved one, let alone, fully experiencing and digesting the grief. But, no, I don’t think any of this is based in cruelty. We are simply conditioned to put ourselves back together, return to our “old selves” and move on.

However, we are not our old selves. We are changed by our losses. So, I think we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to pause in the middle of our unconscious response and look for an antidote to wake us from our slumber… preferably one that can be taken individually and will then spread outward to the collective. The more each of us wakes up and stays present with experiences that are unpleasant, sad or scary, the more we can get comfortable with those emotions and hold space for ourselves, and those in our circles, experiencing them.

A first step in that direction might be to raise our consciousness around one of the biggest things that scare us as individuals… our own death. Because if we can understand and embrace that fear, then I believe we’ll discover new inner space that can hold the grief and deaths of those we love. What a gift that would be when the time comes!

To help us break through the walls we’ve built around talking about death and dying, I offer a free course, called “Dying Consciously… Dying Wisely”.  My intention is to shine a light and bring more “knowing” into the realm of the “unknowable”, or for some the “unthinkable”, by sharing how holistic end of life planning can help us have a more conscious and wise death and as a bonus help our loved ones who will pass before us do the same.

Three opportunities are available over the next week for those ready to break the cycle of following our unconscious responses to our losses.  To reserve your seat for one of the classes listed below please visit www.GoldenHeartTransition.com/Classes:

  • Thursday, September 8th, @ 6:00p MT
  • Saturday, September 10st, @ 10:30a MT
  • Monday, September 12, @ 11:00 a.m.

If you have questions about this class or anything about end of life, please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected]. All questions and feedback are welcome!

We can honor our individual and collective grief together if we can recognize our current level of unconsciousness while also acknowledging that we have a deep desire to bring more peace and joy for ourselves and others. Thank you in advance for considering this possibility!

Gratefully yours in love & light! Karen 💛

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Karen Keeran
GHT President & Founder

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