In this Divine Healing coaching episode, learn the signs and impact of isolation in grief. Find out whether you are isolating yourself in your grief and the 4 steps you can take to feel less alone.
The signs of isolation. (0:13)
The 4 steps to end your isolation. (3:28)
Grief, healing, and self-expression. (6:02)
Grief, isolation, and healing after loss. (8:04)
Shame in grief. (9:00)
Connect with Vonne
Books (by Vonne Solis
“Lessons in Surviving Suicide – A Letter to My Daughter”
“Divine Healing Transforming Pain into Personal Power – A Guide to Heal Pain From Child Loss, Suicide and Other Grief”
“The Power of Change”
Blog, Course & Meditations
Vonne Solis 0:00
Welcome to another Grief Talk Coffee Chat episode. I'm your host, Vonne Solis.
Vonne Solis 0:13
So welcome to another Divine Healing coaching episode. Today I'm going to be talking all about isolation in grief. How to know if you have isolated yourself in grief. So what the signs are, and how this may be impacting you.
Vonne Solis 0:28
First, let's talk about the signs. And you may be experiencing one or a combination of just some of how isolation presents in our environment and grief. So how these signs may be impacting you.
Vonne Solis 0:41
You believe that your bereavement has handed you a life sentence that you'll never be able to escape. You think that nobody gets you. You prefer to be alone. Your family and friends have bailed on you. Your personal relationships have fallen apart. Your family life is in a mess. You don't have any support. You believe that life has dealt you a bad hand. You can't focus. You can't meet your obligations. You actually may be having financial problems and scared you're going to lose your job because you really inside know that you can't deal with the pressure. You live in fear about everything. You think you're going crazy, but you don't know what's wrong with you. You don't know where to turn for help. Your inner world is dark and scary. You do not believe that your life is going to get any better. Mostly you miss your loved one so much, you don't know if you can survive the pain. And you may not even really care.
Vonne Solis 1:49
So here's some of what you may be feeling and a whole lot more. Confused, angry, hopeless, afraid, guilty, sad, bad, fatigued, stressed, distracted, depressed, lonely, vulnerable, hurt, abandoned, powerless, ashamed, frustrated, numb, helpless, disrespected, threatened, unseen. And the list goes on. Absolutely ensuring that if you don't do anything to change what you are experiencing in your grief, this isolation is only going to amplify exactly what you're feeling. Your life is at a minimum going to stay the same, or most likely get worse. Leading to any amount of dysfunction, disability and disempowerment in any number of ways. Affecting not only you, but also your loved ones who really do want to try and support you, but simply don't know how, because they don't really understand what you're going through. And in fact, maybe suffering some of the exact same things in their grief.
Vonne Solis 3:03
So, not to stay stuck in this sad scenario that isolation actually creates for every single person who is in grief and isolating themselves knowingly or unknowingly. Here are four things that you can immediately start doing to actually change what you are experiencing in your grief so that you aren't so isolated.
Vonne Solis 3:29
Number one is acceptance. Understanding and accepting, here's where I am. Now, what am I going to do about it? While there will be days that you're going to still feel any or all of the above that I just mentioned, honour them. But don't let yourself stay there. Even if the freedom that you are seeking is still only in your mind for today.
Vonne Solis 3:54
The next one is community. Find at least one online community that fits the type of grief that you were experiencing. Start with a search in Facebook or online grief groups that speak to your type of loss. Some that may offer even physical support in your community that you can attend in person. Support groups cost absolutely nothing to become a member. And you can observe the conversations by scrolling through the messages for a while before you decide to join to see if this space really is what you're looking for. And if you do want to become a member, and even share some of your story. Communities may expand for you over time, which is great, the more that you expand in your healing, if they are used correctly.
Vonne Solis 4:46
The third one is connection. In any community you can probably find at least one person that you feel an affinity with and actually can become online pals with. I did this in my own grief for the very beginning in my grief with about three to four people. And some of these relationships lasted with daily or weekly emails back and forth for up to three years. And I know every one of them to this day. You can agree the terms of your online friendship. How willing you are to share what you each are going through and how much you feel you can support each other online. And actually, you can make lifelong friends, as I have done through this bonding of this type of connection that is created in early grief. And as I said, often can be found in these early support groups.
Vonne Solis 5:42
Number four support. Often you can find support for your specific needs in grief, again, in support groups by word of mouth with the people that you connect with. And through other resources that you start with that often lead to other resources that can help you as you are progressing through your grief. And as you get stronger and healthier.
Vonne Solis 6:05
So the important thing is that we all change throughout our grief because life will always continue to happen around us and for us. And as such, we all have to bring newness into our grief. Because while we can stay relatively static emotionally, and actually in our life view, we simply cannot physically stay static. As my wonderful sister has reminded me we take ourselves wherever we go. So that is the mental and emotional piece. And this is why it is so important to understand every part of what you are experiencing in your grief throughout every bit of this process for you and decide what you want to do with that moment. In that phase. Or, in going forward however you define what you are struggling with and how you're feeling isolated.
Vonne Solis 6:59
When you free yourself to be who you are, and we largely do this by sharing our stories, even with just one person to begin with. Verbalizing, writing about it. But I'm talking about really verbalizing what's actually happened to us. Claiming who we are authentically. This happened. I lost my child to suicide. You know, I lost my partner. Whatever your loss was that has presented as you know, hugely isolating for you in your grief, finding your voice and being able to speak about it. As I said, even starting with just one person will help you give up the pressure to be who you are not and discover what you really need and want throughout all of your bereavement. Which by the way, will always be a part of you for the rest of your life. This gives you the opportunity to decide if, when and how you may choose to rebuild your life and embrace any amount of healing that feels right for you, wherever you are in your journey.
Vonne Solis 8:04
I'm going to say one word here about healing. And I do know that that word healing, I do use it throughout all of my teaching, and my coaching and in my personal journey in my in my own attempt to basically recover. Rebuild my life and in the 18 years where I am today. Which is a very different person from when I started in 2005, after the suicide of my daughter. I went through some things in my very early grief that presented as isolation. All of the things I actually mentioned in that list. And it took a lot of courage and confidence and the ability to sort of, I won't say own but certainly accept that my daughter had actually died by suicide. Which actually creates a lot of shame. So when you do come from a shameful experience, shame is often related to isolation or any kind of embarrassment we have about the loss that we have suffered. And it does force us to keep quiet.
Vonne Solis 9:08
Culturally also, we're taught to be silent because people just don't really want to hear our stories. Often this is because one, they don't think they can handle it emotionally. Two, they don't really know what to say and how they could support you. And there would be this feeling a little bit of ooh, I should do something to help that person. And three, a big part of it is when we hear stories and terrible things that happen to other people. Losses that are unexpected. We've gone too soon. You know anything that that would represent for us culturally as a threat, it's easier to kind of turn away from it and just hope it never happens to you. Sorry that it happened to the other person. But, if I don't talk about it probably never gonna happen to me. Until it does.
Vonne Solis 9:52
And if it doesn't, you know what? Being aware of other people's losses and not being afraid to sort of understand the realities of death, grief, bereavement of all types, really is what creates a more empathetic and compassionate culture or society that we all deserve to live in. It actually helps us assimilate ourselves back into a more what I'll just say, quote unquote, mainstream type of living which I advocate for in all of the work that I do.
Vonne Solis 10:24
So that's it. That's all I want to say today. I really ask that you please consider how isolated you are. Do any one or two of the four steps that I really encourage you. Which would be acceptance, community, connection and finding that support. Any teeny weeny first step you can take to make a change in your life by being willing to just take one little step to understand that you are not alone in what you are going through. No matter how much your circumstances may suggest to you otherwise, there's always going to be millions of other people going through pretty much the same thing. Maybe at different times, and maybe to less intensity or more intensity. But hey, we're all on this planet basically, with very similar life experiences. And once we connect, I'm telling you half that burden, if not more of it just goes away from us because we feel less alone.
Vonne Solis 11:25
So that's it for today. You can check out more of my resources at vonnesolis.com Where I offer books, coaching, an online course, and an opportunity to join my community newsletter, where I share tips and other strategies relevant to what's going on in real time. I'd absolutely love to have you as part of my my online community.
Vonne Solis 11:48
So again, that's it. Until next time, take care of you. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening.