• Dawn Ford

"Your mind can try its best to forget, to avoid, but the body remembers."

"I don't need any of these dates marked in my calendar to remember them - though they are listed in all my Google calendars anyway. Before these anniversaries show up as calendar reminders, my body remembers them. I'll wake up stiff and aching, my body bracing itself for what happened years ago on that day. Even if my brain were wiped clean, my muscles m my organs, and especially my heart would always remember. Even if I'd kept in a locked room without access to a calendar, I'd have known that Aaron's deathaversary was growing near. Your mind can try its best to forget, to avoid, but the body remembers."

"My shoulders found a resting place next to my ears. I woke up with an aching jaw, having bitten holes into my retainer as I slept. My eyeballs pulsed in my head all day long, and my heart raced. My grief had so many layers that it had become an exoskeleton."Nora McInerny - No Happy Endings

When it comes to loss and trauma I believe the body holds the score - So many people I meet who are grieving have this one thing in common -they ALL know how much grief hurts. It hurts so much it feels physical. It strikes the heart, head, stomach, chest, everywhere hurts. It's like liquid seeping into every void or crack in our emotional resilience.

Grief hurts - it's numbing, surreal, shocking, and exhausting; emotionally and physically. Many feel like their life is one big grief - that can hit at any time.

Unresolved grief can manifest itself in many guises and some of my clientsm have suffered with alls orts of medical abnomalies - terrible headaches, painful hips, rashes, throat problems, even chronic pain such as that associated with fibromyalgia (which I was diagnosed with in 2010 along with extreme fatigue) and so many other physical symptoms, where a doctor has found no reason for, which in their case externally relayed their grief.

I am always amazed at the improvement in a client's health after they have completed the Grief Recovery Method. It just cements my belief - the body keeps the score.

One of the question I most get asked is "When will I feel better?" Many answer for themselves - "Time?" Time can help in the sense that the pain or sadness can sometimes reduce in its severity over months and years, but TIME alone doesn't heal. It's Action and Time combined. One of my clients was devastated by a miscarriage and was told by those around her that 'time would heal ' and she would soon get 'over it'. But when I asked her she replied "No, it's been 20 years and I still feel heartbroken." She had done what most of us do - she had pretended to be Ok when she wasn't OK. She had said she was fine when she wasn't fine.

I am a huge believer in following your emotional truth - Another common concern for many grieving a death, is the 1st year deathaversary. What should I do? Should it be a big affair? Will people think I didn't love him or her if I don't mark the day in some way? Or can I just try and forget (and curl up in bed and attempt to sleep the day away) that a year has passed without them by my side?

So often we can feel judged by others to do the 'right thing'. But what is the right thing for you? Ideally don't feel pressurised by anyone to do something that doesn't feel 'right'. You know the extent of your love for the person and the extent of which you miss them. Who's to say that a quiet day alone or with family is not as 'fitting' as a big grand gesture/affair? You know in your heart what feels right, just tell those around you.

"I'd been so self-contained for so long , so careful to keep my grief in check, that I'd kept everything in check." Nora McInerny

And how unbelievably sad is that? That we feel we have to rein ourselves in, for the benefit of others? 'Don't cry or you'll make others sad'. 'Don't lose it, people are relying on you.' Again another example of not being able to be emotionally truthful to yourself. And Oh Boy the damage this can do is huge! You know that feeling when you want to cry but you feel judged or that it would embarrass those around you so you keep it in. This means instead of doing what is natural i.e. to cry - you bury the emotion. But this is going against being human and the natural release from showing sadness through the tears is denied. Such a very destructive way of living. Sadness that doesn't get expressed sits deep inside and doesn't go away. Your body feels it and Your heart really knows it.

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