Posts

Can broken dreams cause grief?

Broken dreamsA lot of people react when I tell them what I work with, and most of them say “Luckily nothing terrible has happened to me yet.” or “I haven’t lost anyone close to me, but when I do I know who to call.” That’s all fine, of course, it’s not that I wish for anyone to have a traumatic experience so I can have something to do!

But what about the time you had a really bad break up with someone? Maybe that shattered not only your heart, but also the dream of you two being together, starting a family and growing old together?  Or what about the loss of a job, and hence loss of financial security and a dream of a career within that company or field? Or moving abroad (as we expats have done), not only being a big adventure, but also bringing with it the loss of familiarity, language, friends, and (often) the ability to be present at big life events such as weddings, christenings, funerals, or birthdays.

So in what way does the Grief Recovery Method® help you get rid of the pain and frustration that broken dreams brings with it? You might have been trying a number of different things to feel better again, but are tired of trying and “failing” yet another “self help” method. What could possibly be different with this Program?

For me, it’s been the simple fact that I got to take a good look at all my disappointments, losses and broken dreams in my life so far. I’ve looked at the myths I’ve been taught how to deal with loss, all the intellectual comments I’ve heard when in grief, and all the (often unconscious) behaviours I’ve been using in order to avoid facing my feelings triggered by a traumatic event (food, anger, frustration, TV…).

It’s like taking out the weeds by the roots instead of either ignoring them completely (yet knowing perfectly well that they are still there), or swearing about their presence but refusing to do anything about it!  For me, it was a clear and logical step-by-step action plan that finally quietened a majority of my extremely limiting “Why’s?”, “What if’s” and “If only’s”. I say majority, because the job never gets completely done. I would be lying if I said that you would be living happily ever after just by working through this Program.

But your you will have a brand new set of extremely helpful tools to help you handle major life events. You will have taken back the responsibility how you let those events affect you, and therefore you get to decide how to feel and what kind of support you need. I was so good at giving away the power over my own emotions to others, but now I ask myself this question when faced with a situation that triggers all these scary emotions: “To who or what do I give the power to control how I feel in this very moment, and why?”, and that is something I did not do before!

So if you want to know more about me, what the Grief Recovery Method® is, and if it is for you at all(!), please feel free to book a Discovery Session with me either in person or via Skype/Zoom!

Karin Andersson Hagelin

 

 

Much Love, Karin

 

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.

IMG_2923

 

  • 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.

 

WHY I do what I do

There are so many ways to pitch your business… But what would happen if I started telling people WHY I’m really in the business I’m in, from the heart? 

That question struck me as I was thinking of sending yet another “sales pitch” mail to all the networks I’m in. Do I want to sound like the current “Newsletter trend” or do I want it to come from the heart? When is it actually OK to speak from the heart without following all the sales pitch rules and formats? Are people going to find me weird if I do?

There is only one way to find out I guess, and that’s putting it to the test!

So WHY I’m in this business of Grief Recovery?

When we lost our firstborn daughter it dawned on me how little help there was for us as parents. We had received excellent medical care for our child, but when she had left us and all the medical equipment had been collected we were standing there with an empty crib, diapers, baby clothes, toys and all the rest of it that comes along with a baby. We now had to arrange all the practical details like organising the funeral, tombstone, documents for flying back to Sweden with an urn, insurance, medical bills having to be clarified etc etc etc.

Having to deal with all of that while in a state of chock and grief was mind boggling. There was no real list of support options presented to us, and I had to muster the energy to look for help myself.

I immediately signed myself up as support parent at the Children’s hospital and the palliative home care team here in Zürich to at least give other parents with the same diagnosis a chance to contact a fellow parent. But what about all the other people being stuck in loss and grief? How could I be there for fellow expats experiencing loss, living far away form their natural support system of family, friends, language and familiarity?

That’s when I decided to do the certification to become a Grief Recovery Specialist. I now work with my passion to help others getting unstuck, feel less alone in their grief and have someone listening to their story. I wake up every day feeling so blessed to be able to do this kind of work, and that our daughter taught me so much about life, death and all the things in between. Like my coach Edson Williams said yesterday, “Karin flipped the script from a bereaved parent to using the loss as an inspiration to help others.” That really warmed my heart.

So that’s WHY I’m doing what I’m doing! I just can’t stand the fact that so many are stuck and limited by their unresolved grief, and if I can just help a handfull of these people it’s worth it! And I just have to trust that the people needing my help will find me, in one way or another. Have a great weekend and start of February!

change

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):

My next step, a certification course at the Grief Recovery Institute in Stockholm

So I’ve had a couple of moths asking myself over and over again “How may I serve?”, and as soon as I gave in and said to myself that I can’t be doing less than offer help and support to other human beings suffering from unresolved grief things started to shift in a BIG way! People, books, videos and ideas literally started dropping at my feet as if the Universe tried to get me to understand that I had found my path.

So later this month (September 2012) I will go to Stockholm and attend a certification course on how to assist others through grieving processes. I’m so excited and happy to have taken this step, even if it’s scaring the crap out of me at the same time. This means that I have to work though my own unresolved grief before I can help others which is a daunting thought, so wish me luck!!

Much love, Karin