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It took me nine years to face my grief

scared as hellIt took me NINE years to reach that point of exhaustion where I just said to myself “I really, really, really need to get help to finally let go of the all the pain and drama in my life”. By that time I had lost my dad, moved abroad and lost my first born daughter (in that exact order).

What would happen if I finally took charge of my emotional system? What would need to change? Who or what would I have to let go of in my life? What patterns, behaviours and thoughts would I have to change? What would I have to start doing or who would I have to start being if I got well, finally felt unstuck, started to live my purpose, quit that awful, life draining job? Who would I have to become if I let go of all the drama that defines me?

That’s a lot of scary stuff… I know, that’s why I waited for so long. But I refused to define myself as the bereaved mother, stuck in pain, guilt and sadness forever and ever. There had to be another way!

Only you will know when you have reached that crucial point when changing how you define yourself and your pain and drama is the only sustainable thing you can do in order to move forward. Why don’t you grab the opportunity and start getting clear for the new year NOW by redefining how you want to show up in the world? How you want to feel? What you want to contribute to?

There are a million-and-one techniques out there, I’m teaching ONE of them, but I encourage you to go out and investigate which one rings true to you. Only you know whats best for you.

Talking to children about loss

Simple DO’s and DON’Ts:

  • DO – Go first. As the adult, you are the leader. 
  • DO – Tell the truth about how you feel. – Telling the truth about your own grief and about how you feel will establish a tone of trust and make your child feel safe in opening up about his or her own feelings.
  • DO – Recognise that grief is emotional, not intellectual and that sad or scared feelings are normal. Avoid the trap of asking your child what is wrong, for he or she will automatically say “Nothing”.
  • DO – Listen with you heart, not your head. Allow all emotions to be expressed without judgement, criticism, or analysis.
  • DO – Remember that each child is unique and has a unique relationship to the loss.
  • DO – Be patient. Don’t force your child to talk. Give your child time. Make sure to plant healthy ideas about talking about feelings.

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  • DON’T – Say “Don’t feel scared”. Fear is a common and normal response.
  • DON’T – Say “Don’t feel sad”. Sadness is a healthy and normal reaction. Sadness and fear, the most common feelings attached to loss of any kind, are essential to being human.
  • DON’T – Ask your children how they are feeling. Like adults, fearful of being judged, they will automatically say, “I’m fine”, even though they are not.
  • DON’T – Act strong for your children. They will interpret your “non-feeling” as something they are supposed to copy.
  •  DON’T – Compare their lives or situations to others in the world. Comparison always minimizes feelings.
  • DON’T – Make promises that you cannot keep. Instead of saying “Everything’s going to be okay”, say, “We’ll do everything we can to be safe”.
  • DON’T – Forget that your children are very smart. Treat them and their feelings with respect and dignity as you would like to be treated by others.

Stay tuned for the first Course “Helping Children deal with Loss” in Zurich, in spring 2013. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know the dates as I only have four (4) spaces available.

I’m giving a lecture about the Grief Recovery Method®

Grief Recovery Method 
21st of March 2013,19.00 – 20.00 at the American Women’s Club in Zürich,  CHF25

People say you have to let go and move on in your life, but they don’t tell you what you need to do to accomplish that. The Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program presented by Karin Andersson Hagelin, not only makes that possible, but provides partnership and guidance to ensure that it happens. It is neither a support group nor a drop-in program, but an experiential, action-based plan. You will look at your old beliefs about dealing with loss, what losses have affected your life, and take new actions that will lead you to closure of the pain attached to those losses. As a result, the participants find that they are able to discover and complete what was left emotionally unfinished due to a death, a divorce, or other major loss.

WELCOME!!!!

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Grief Recovery: How does it work?

Hi all, today I would like to start with a quote from the book “the Grief Recovery Handbook” written by John W. James and Russell Friedman – also the same handbook I use when I work with clients:

“Recovery from loss is achieved by a series of small and correct choices made by the griever. “

So how do you go about taking these small steps?

During the 8-week one-on-one Outreach Program or the 12-week group Outreach Program I guide you through the Grief Recovery Handbook, making sure that we look at all the aspects of how you have been taught to deal with loss and grief. For example, time heals all wounds might be a myth that you have grown up with? Here is a picture:

If you broke your arm, would you then sit down and wait for it to heal by itself or would you go to the hospital to get it looked at and cared for properly? So why are we told to wait for time to heal our hearts when they got broken from a loss?

I lost my father in September 2001, just days after the 9/11 tragedy in USA. My world crashed and I wasn’t able to function properly for a long, long while. In 2003 I was introduced to the Grief Recovery Method, as the book was translated into Swedish by Anders Magnusson at the Swedish Grief Recovery Institute in Stockholm.

However, the steps in the book seemed overwhelming to do on my own. Also, I didn’t have to courage to ask someone to do it with me, so I left it, as you do…

It took me another nine years to actually sign up for the course myself, so trust me, I know how big the resistance is to do this work! It was a lot easier when I felt the support from the other people in the group to move forward and do the very important action steps. Without that help I wouldn’t have finished the Grief Recovery process.

I can also confidently tell you that when you decide to do the Grief Recovery Outreach Program, alone or guided by me in a group or one-on-one, you will be able to move on in life without dragging the old weight of unresolved grief and un-communicated feelings!

Drop me an e-mail or give me a call on +41 76 282 98 23 if you want to know more or have questions about how I can help you! Much love!

“Please place the oxygen mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others…”

“Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.”

We have all heard it, on every flight we have ever boarded, and they are many as we live abroad. And I see a very clear comparison with how we can assist our kids through loss and grief.

We simply do what we have been taught ourselves, Don’t be sad, Replace the Loss, Grieve alone, Be strong (for others), Time heals all Wounds and Keep yourself busy, or something similar might be behaviours that you have been taught as a kid. And as we all know, kids do what we DO, not what we SAY!

So the first thing to do as a parent or guardian, is to look at our own way of dealing with loss and grief. Painful as might be to look at our own stuff, we need to look at what we have been taught and see exactly what “knowledge” we are teaching our kids. As long as we are unaware of what we have been taught, we are passing the same (sometimes false) information on to our own kids. Simple as that!

So if you feel like making the commitment to deal with your own grief and make sure that you have your “oxygen mask” on before you help your child, feel free to contact me or read more under “the Grief Recovery Method®”. Love, Karin

I’m a proud Momtrepreneur!

Hi all, I do write a lot about my work but I just heard this lovely term, Momtrepreneur, the other day and I just felt compelled to write about it!

So how does a Momtrepreneur “work”day look like?

07:00-08:00 Make sure that the kids wake up, have breakfast, brushing teeth (with a lot of threatening about  the trolls eating your teeth if you don’t…), get dressed (hopefully shoes on the right foot, sort of matching clothes, and hopefully finding all the out door gear you need to wear this time of year) – and BREATHE!

Photo taken by Elin, 4 years old08:00 Start the little trip up to Kindergarten, there are a lot of secret paths, leaves, cats, friends and other fun things to stop and look at on the way. Sometimes carrying a kid (15 kg) on one arm and extra gear, bags and a bicycle on the other…

09:00 Get the house back in order, start some washing, check if we have food (if not, too bad!), and get in the car to drive off to my Grief Recovery client. Fist making sure that all is packed, printed and in order 🙂

10:00-11:00 Grief Recovery work! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!

11-12 Dash back home, start lunch, close the computer and end the Grief Recovery work day. Did I accomplish all I needed to have done without having kids in the house… Most of the time the answer is NO! (no, really?!)

12:00 Kindergarten finishes, run up to Kindergarten, just sliding in to the yard as they open the door and the kids are pouring out!  Pick up my daughter <3

12:15 -> Cook, eat, draw, bake, organise play dates…. So that’s how it looks like!

Lunch time!

I’m sure I’m going to look back at this time and as my “younger self”what I was thinking, starting up a business with two small kids! But it also shows that if you have found your passion, which I have in case you haven’t figured that one out yet ( 😉 , you just find the time to get it all done!

And my secret weapon (yes, I admit):

I feel truly blessed!

For the first time ever I feel that I’m doing something meaningful! The amount of trust I’m given from the clients I meet, and to witness them work through really difficult issues makes me feel so blessed!

Grief is so much more than death, separation or divorce and there are so many people living a limited life because they are carrying around old, unresolved grief. These unresolved issues could be anything from moving, changing schools or losing a beloved pet to loss of trust, loss of self worth or loss of your physical body through illness or abuse. It’s just that we haven’t been taught that these issues, and many more, needs to be taken care of and resolved so that the person can move on in life. It’s so easy to be stuck with old memories and wrongdoings. We get reminded of them from time to time and all of a sudden we find ourselves experiencing the whole emotional trauma over and over again!

Have you ever thought about a sad memory and felt that thug in your heart?

I have, many times. I only had to think about the day we got Ingrid’s diagnosis and the day she passed away and immediately I was feeling the same exact feelings, remembering every detail about what I wore, what she wore, what was said and who was sitting where. That was so incredible painful! Now I can look back on these days and cherish the memories without being thrown in to all those traumatic feelings, and what a relief that is!

 

 

Grief Recovery in German!

Why wait? If I can help people deal with their Grief in a more loving and helpful way than I have ever come across myself, why be shy about not speaking PERFECT German? It’s more about listening and be a heart with no mouth so I have no excuses for bailing out on my mission, which is to help as many as I possibly can to get relief from old or more recent grief.

So today, ladies and gentlemen, I’m taking the BIG PLUNGE by starting up with a new client in German! I’m now OPEN FOR BUSINESS I THREE LANGUAGES!

What myths about grief did you learn as a child?

There is a lot of homework to go through if you decide to sign up for the Grief Recovery Method®! However, it is there in order to lift forward the old myths and intellectual comments you have learned to use when you are grieving yourself or when you meet others in grief.

Wouldn’t it be a relief to shake these old beliefs out once and for all?

Just drop me an email at karin.andersson.hagelin@gmail.com if you want to know more about the Grief Recovery Method®! Take care of yourself <3