Recovering From Our Losses

Meet Tracy. She is an attractive woman with a warm smile. Her life is busy; she works; she has two children and an elderly father. She has learned to be strong for others, to keep busy and that time will heal all wounds. At night when the kids are in bed, she has a glass of wine or two and a bag of chips while watching Netflix. The alcohol, food and TV help her to relax and to not have to feel. Lately, she finds it harder and harder to get up in the morning and to keep going. Whenever she is not busy, a deep sadness is taking hold of her. This sadness is quite familiar.

She doesn’t know when she first started to have the lack of energy and these depressive thoughts and feelings. Perhaps, it was fourteen months ago, when her mother passed after a long fight with cancer. Or perhaps when she had two miscarriages and life just went on as if nothing happened. Or perhaps it was when her first marriage ended due to her husband’s infidelity. Or perhaps it was when her own parents divorced when she was fifteen. Or perhaps it all began when her beloved dog died when she was eight. Or perhaps this grief is as old as when she moved to Canada at the age of five not speaking a word of English, and having to leave her grandparents behind.

Grief is accumulative and it is accumulative negative. Our bodies become the storage tanks for all our losses and painful emotions because we were never given the tools to appropriately process our loss experiences. Our body speaks our mind through pains or other physical issues to let us know that the storage tank is over-flowing.


Instead of listening to those physical symptoms, we have all learned to use some Short-Term Energy Relieving Behaviours (STERBS) like drinking alcohol, smoking, eating, watching TV, playing computer games, sleeping, taking meds, shopping, cleaning, exercising, working and so on to distract ourselves from the painful feelings associated with our losses. It is time to become aware of our STERBS and to address our buried emotions to gain greater happiness and health.

The grief recovery work is for losses we have experienced through death, divorce and 40+ other life changing events. Some examples are the loss of a love relationship or friendship, infidelity and the loss of trust, the death of a pet, a job loss, a move, an accident or illness, resulting perhaps in the loss of health or mobility, a miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and other life altering occurrences. Even positive life changes like graduation, marriage, or the birth of a child can be an experience of loss.

We are all faced with incomplete relationships and situations. We are all grievers in some form or other at different points in our life. In fact, grief spares nobody. The training to become a grief specialist involved deep personal healing work. After all, we can only take our clients to where we ourselves have been willing to go. As my workshop partner and I were sharing our loss history graphs, we were amazed how many similar patterns we found, despite the fact that he was 12 years younger, at a different stage in his life, of a somewhat different cultural background and of a different gender. The conclusion can only be that as humans, we all experience the same patterns of grief due to death, divorce and other losses.


Grief is our normal and natural reaction to such a life changing event or loss. Grief occurs due to the conflicting feelings caused by the end or change of something familiar. It can masquerade as a powerful emotional state like deep sadness, depression or anger. Unresolved grief is almost always about us wishing things had been different, better, or more. We might have undelivered emotional communications with others. We also carry unrealized hopes, dreams or expectations. In case of the end of a good relationship, we might have had plans that never happened. In negative relationships, the end of the relationship robs us of the possibility to repair and make amends.


The grief recovery work helps to complete our relationship to the pain caused by a significant emotional loss. It helps us to take responsibility for our actions, forgive others for theirs, and to deliver significant emotional statements. It is the opportunity to say goodbye to any pain or unmet hopes and dreams. We can then feel complete, live fully in the present and focus on any existing fond memories. The grief recovery work gives us freedom and newfound joy. It opens the door to health and happiness.


Certified Grief Specialist, Belief Change Coach and Workshop Facilitator


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Empty Nest?

Have you ever tried to push an emotion away instead of dealing with it? Doesn’t work so well, does it? It’s a bit like trying to push a beach ball under water. It is bound to pop up again sooner or later.

I had my own week of pushing down a beach ball. Ten days ago, my oldest moved out. She and I have always had a very strong bond. A friend of mine, who has a son a few years older, has been making foreboding remarks about the challenges of adjusting to children moving out for the last few months. Resolutely, I had refused to listen and “have her put suggestions into my head”. After all, her son had no siblings and the term “empty nest” did not apply to me at all.

When you google “empty nest syndrome” definitions like this one come up: “Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time. This can result in depression and a loss of purpose for parents, since the departure of their children from “the nest” leads to adjustments in parents’ lives. Empty nest syndrome is especially common in full-time mothers.”

Nest 2

I just couldn’t see how that could possibly apply to me. I have my work which I love, a close loving partnership, another daughter and a stepdaughter. Does that sound like an empty nest? I was worried about how my younger daughter would deal with her sister being away from home. I feared she would miss her best friend and mentor. Her older sister is the one she is closely bonded into. However, I was not expecting to feel grief myself.

My daughter moved out on Friday. On Sunday, my stepdaughter, who is an intuitive little one, asked me twice out of the blue “Are you okay?” I replied to her I was feeling tired but secretly started wondering what she was picking up on. By Monday, I was starting to realize that I was suppressing something. The bond with my oldest is strong and I trust it will change and become in some ways even deeper than it is. So that was not it. Yet, I felt moody, restless and just not myself.

It took a couple of meditations and some muscle testing to realize what was being triggered. A very old primal fear came up. I traced it back to being barely four years old. At that time, shifts happened in my family with one of my sisters being born and my mother almost leaving my father due to another crisis. The experience I had back then was that it is not safe for me when shifts happen among the people I love. Once I had uncovered that limiting belief, it was easy to clear it out.

Nest 5

We can clear out fears or limiting beliefs using PSYCH-K® or another belief change technique. In addition it can help to use NLP-based techniques of refocusing on what we want at this point in our life. This helps us to further adapt to changes and to be able to direct our creative energy towards our own/new goals.

Sometimes we underestimate periods of transition in our life. We are getting married or moving in with someone. We are having a baby. We are melting two families. Somebody moves out. We are getting a promotion into a more challenging position. Somebody in the family is retiring. All these are usually “happy” events. Yet, just like losing our job, a break-up of a relationship, a separation, a divorce or losing somebody through death, transitions shake us and require adjustments. They can trigger emotions and fears. They might bring limiting beliefs up to the surface. They are, however, a gift. They are an opportunity to do our growth work.

Are you going through a transition in your life?

For Life Coaching and Emotional Healing Work

Contact Angelika



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