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Grief Autopsy • Name the Losses of Ambiguous Grief

Grief is the emotion of loss. It's a healthy, natural container for what we cherish and value.

But if not processed or released, it acts like food poisoning, seizing the host (eg. depression) and/or spewed onto others (eg. lashing out).

To all my fellow seekers ⤵︎

quote - cannot find lost

Grief needs to be seen.

Grief needs to be met.

Grief needs to hear, "Your pain is real."

Grief needs to know, "I'll go slow with you."


3 Types of Grief

Grief comes from 3 primary types of losses. Each type of grief can have varying intensity, timing, quantity and impact – see Flavors of Grief 🧂 in footnotes.

CLASSIC
GRIEF

AMBIGUOUS
GRIEF

COMPLEX
GRIEF

From loss of a loved one or healthy function
From loss of an intangible invalidated by the masses
From intense "ongoing" loss

Eg. Death of a family member, pet or friend, miscarriage, limb paralysis, hearing loss of a musician

Eg. Her dream of being a biological mom never realized. She never had a child in the first place, so did she really lose anything? The masses deny her the right to grieve what could have been.

Eg. Loss of closure / answers due to death of an abusive parent, loss from leaving others behind, loss of "the mom I used to know" due to Alzheimer's, loss from roads not taken

Eg. Lost all sense of safety as a child. Now unable to trust others despite 11 years of therapy. Living with daily loss of connection and intimacy.

Eg. After a divorce (primary loss), lost child custody and all "our" friends (secondary loss) in one fell swoop. Now living with daily loss of support system and family.


Grief Autopsy

A Grief Autopsy is not for the faint of heart. It's a psychotherapeutic exercise that can be decimating before it is liberating. It's an Opportestinyto...

OPPORTUNITY

... courageously examine and release everything you ever lost... or never even had

+

TEST

... break down your ego's scaffolding built against your lovability and sacredness

+

DESTINY

... purge the conditioning from unconscious parents/cultures and live free


Mini-Quest

Disclaimer • Before proceeding with a Grief Autopsy, make sure to have hydration, food nourishment, soft items (eg. pillows, blankets, plushies), and a trusted friend, coach or therapist on hand.

✏️ Name your life's losses on any level: mind, heart, body, soul, personal, professional, etc. Deep down you know what you've lost. Tell the truth, at least to yourself.

For inspiration, here's a list of very, very valid losses. Words in parenthesis can be used as synonyms or standalone losses. (Contact us to add suggestions.)

Classic, Ambiguous and Complex Losses Table
Agency
(yang power, decisiveness)
Appetite for life
(desires, dreams)
Assessment of reality
Balance of novelty/stability Balance of self-sufficiency/dependency on others Balance of work/play
Balance of tears/laughter Belonging Childhood
(carefreeness, ease)
Choice
(free will, self-empowerment)
Deservingness
(right to have, receptivity, resourced, provided to)
Dignity
(sacredness, self-respect)
Equity
(justice, equality)
Feelings
Emoting of feelings
Focus Freedom Genius
(talent, potential)
Guidance Humane-ness (self-mercy, self-forgiveness, right to imperfection, grace) Identity (integrity, self-acceptance, intimacy)
Innocence
(preciousness, cherished)
Joy
(wonder, awe)
Needs 
Nurturance
(soothing, warmth, tenderness)
Peace Presence
(embodiment, grounding, centeredness) 
Prosperity Protestation of injustice/harm Radiance
(yin power, vitality, delight, pleasure, Beauty)
Relevance
(to matter, recognition, appreciation)
Right to rest/relax Ability to rest/relax
Safety
(boundaries, protection, self-protection)
Self-compassion  Self-esteem
(self-worth, confidence)
Self-expression
(creativity, originality)
Support
(ability to ask for / receive help)
Thriving
(right to be fulfilled)
Time
(impact, contribution)
Trust in self
(inner compass, intuition)
Trust in goodness of Life
Trust in Homo sapiens Validity
(birthright, right to be/exist)
Wholeness
(roots, Home, origins) 
Will to live Worth   


quote - let die let live


Advanced Mini-Quest

For better or worse, my approach to healing and soul maturation is ⤵︎

quote - barrel anacondas

For you extra credit seekers, connect-the-dots between each of your Parts (from Parts Integration module) and each of your losses. This exercise will unleash your anacondas and serve as an Opportestiny to...

OPPORTUNITY

... access the bottom of the barrel, where lies the portal to your soul

+

TEST

... end the haunting of your past (or at least grrrrrreatly diminish it)

+

DESTINY

... to show yourself / the world the depth and beauty of your soul

It takes a Spiritual Gangster to survive this mini-quest. Not if, but when you do, you'll experience much, much:

  • peace in the mind  🧠
  • joy in the heart  💖
  • awe in the body  👣 and
  • nectar in the soul  ⭐️.

✏️ In matrix format, list all your Parts in columns and all your losses in rows. For each Part, go down the rows and chekmark all its losses.

For illustration, see ⤵︎

Ellany's Grief Autopsy

Grief Autopsy and Universal Losses - Ellany Lea

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* UNIVERSAL LOSSES • Losses marked with an asterisk indicate a universal loss suffered by every Part of me. How can such a tiny asterisk demand such gargantuan ugly cries... To borrow from Shrek, "Better out than in," I suppose.


quote - not easy worth it


Flavors of Grief 🧂

Grief Intensity

  • Abbreviated
  • Acute
  • Traumatic

Grief Timing

  • Immediate - crumbling in or lashing out at self and/or others
  • Inhibited - in shock, consciously suppressed or unconsciously repressed grief
  • Delayed - late onset, often due to major competing life events or denial of loss
  • Anniversary - cyclical on certain dates or triggered by certain events/people
  • Prolonged - grief doesn't subside or worsens
  • Anticipatory - in advance of actually loss (eg. impending divorce, announced layoffs, terminal cancer of the dying or the caregiver), it can sometimes reduce the grief of the actual the loss but does not replace it

Grief Quantity

  • Singular - due to one loss
  • Cumulative - due to multiple losses occurring while the previous loss hasn't been fully released

Grief Impact

  • Individual - on one person's mind, heart, body and/or soul
  • Collective - on family, community, nation, and/or global

(First Published Aug 22, 2023)

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Ellany-Lea-Pen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Having navigated 131 countries, 87 emotions, 46.5 traumas, and 16 careers, Ellany Lea inspires and guides phoenixes, overachievers, entrepreneurs and wayshowers to live fierce, fulfilled and free.