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  • Writer's pictureKit Wisdom

How are we holding space for grief?

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

Some of what we are feeling right now is grief.

Individual and collective grief.

We can feel the world changing so quickly and the loss of normalcy is hitting us again and again.

David Kessler, an expert on grief, speaks to us feeling more than one grief at the moment.

The loss of normalcy. The loss of connection. The loss of financial security. The loss of touch. The loss of self.

And we are also feeling anticipatory grief.

This is the uncertainty that is wrapping around us, foreign yet also becoming familiar. We can feel the next wave coming but we’re unsure when.

This becomes a loss of safety.

As David points out, we are grieving on a micro and a macro level.

As health professionals, how are we planning on holding space for this grief within our tele-health (tele-heart) sessions with patients?

Are we going to sit with these uncomfortable feelings WITH them?

Are we going to acknowledge them? Try and understand them? And in doing that, truly understand that we can’t make them go away, yet instead need to mindfully allow them, make space for them.

Or are we going to continue with exercises and rehabilitation and management plans as if we aren’t grieving?

Do we need to sit in our OWN grief first?

How can we possibly have these hard conversations with others if we don't have them with ourselves?

How can we truly empathise if we don't explore the grief? We need to acknowledge and understand grief, so we can respect it, give it the space and stillness it needs. So we can listen to it, and learn from it.

Holding a space for grief opens up our ability and capacity for emotional complexity. This is what builds our resilience.

There are stages of grief, that are NOT linear and may not occur in any particular order. This is the beauty of each person’s story, their process, their pathway.

There’s denial.

There’s anger.

There’s bargaining.

There’s sadness.

There’s acceptance.

And a more recent addition of a sixth stage to grief.


Finding light amongst the dark.

There is power in naming this grief. Allowing it to be named. When we name feelings we can feel them and start to move through them. We can start to make sense of why we are feeling that way.

And we become empowered.

Healthcare tele-heart team - let’s intentionally hold space for grief.

For ourselves first and foremost.

And for others.

Let’s empower ourselves and the humans we care for 💚

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