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I Didn’t Know I was Grieving – 3 Steps to Think About When Grieving

Written by: Alysha Smith, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Grief, arguably one of the strongest emotions human beings will experience in their lifetime. Every human being on the planet will experience grief at some point in their life. It is important to note that grief is unique for every individual and that ALL grief is valid.


Typically, when asked, “what can humans grieve from,” the two most common responses are death and divorce. These two losses, in particular, are the most accepted and communicated within society. There are, however, over forty different types of loss that a person can experience throughout their lifetime (John James, Russell Friedman, 2009). This can lead to confusion for individuals who do not recognize or understand that they are, in fact, grieving.


Prior to becoming a Greif Recovery Specialist, I didn’t really understand that I could grieve a living relationship. I didn’t understand that the feelings and emotions such as anger, bitterness, and resentment that I carried deep within my soul were, in fact, my response to grief and loss of trust in relationships. I didn’t know I was grieving, and therefore I lived with the pain, the anger, the bitterness, the resentment as opposed to healing from it for years upon years. I used band-aid fixes such as binging Netflix, playing sports, and eating food to release my pain and take my mind off my feelings. I realized that I was only “masking” my pain, anger, and bitterness to try and feel better on the surface, for a brief moment.


Here is a list of situations that could produce feelings of grief that you may be unaware of:

  • moving

  • graduation

  • retirement

  • empty nest

  • major health changes

  • death of former partner

  • financial changes

  • breakup

  • pet loss

  • loss of trust/safety/control/identity

Although grief is natural, normal, and will touch everyone at some point, grief itself is misunderstood, and people are ill-equipped to support grievers. Some forms of grief, such as loss of trust in relationships (with parents, partners, teachers, etc.), are unfortunately not recognized as a valid form of grief by society. In other words, it is not taken as seriously as death. The repercussions of this lack of understanding by society can be detrimental to the individual as they may be left feeling confused, unheard, and invalid.


Step 1.

When it comes to grief and loss, the first step is recognizing that we are, in fact, grieving. Now that you are aware of some of the life events that can create feelings of grief, I encourage you to check in with yourself, your emotions, and your triggers. Your triggers communicate that there is still healing required in that area of your life. Ask yourself how you are feeling on a cellular level. Maybe it’s heaviness, and maybe it’s darkness, maybe it’s heartache, maybe it’s deep-rooted anger that you have not been able to manage.



Step 2.

Once we have come to this recognition that we are, in fact, grieving the loss of something, we then require the proper tools to heal. We cannot open a can of soup with the spoon… we require the can opener. When it comes to healing our hearts, we also require proper tools to release and complete our pain. The keyword here is “complete.” We want to say goodbye to the pain and keep any beautiful, fond memories. So, check-in with yourself and ask, “what have I tried in the past to heal my pain, anger, sadness, heaviness, resentment etc.?”. Did your previous healing attempts leave you feeling transformed with nothing but love and gratitude in your heart? If the answer is no, please don’t give up! As a Grief Recovery Specialist, my mission is to educate society about grief and provide people with an action-oriented toolkit for releasing their pain and healing their hearts.


Step 3.

You and only you know your pain, meaning you get to make decisions for your life, for your healing, and your heart.


Now that you have an awareness that you might, in fact, be grieving the loss of someone or something significant in your life, I would like to remind you to be extremely gentle with yourself while you complete your deep, inner healing work. You are important. You matter. You do not deserve to carry the pain with you any longer. It is no longer yours to carry.


- Alysha Smith, The Grief Goddess


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Alysha Smith, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Alysha Smith is an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist whose purpose is to support others on their unique healing journeys through grief and loss. After experiencing unique losses in Alysha’s life including abandonment, death, grief within pregnancy and grief within living relationships, she decided to take action towards healing her heart from the pain, anger, sadness and resentment she had carried for years. After using her Social Work degree for four years, Alysha ventured into business on her own to provide tools for healing and transformation to clients on a deeper level and is referred to as a Grief Goddess. Alysha is also a devoted mother and the author of New Beginnings. Writing New Beginnings played a significant role in Alysha’s unique healing journey. Alysha lives her passion and purpose every day and shows up as a beacon of love and light in the world.

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