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The Real Waves of Grief


Day 6: The True Waves of Grief = The Layered Waves of Grief


This metaphor for grief—waves and oscillation from moments of ok-ness to times of utter depths—holds up for the most part in what I observe in myself and in my clients. The waves of grief are what separate it from depression and many other life experiences.


Yet I believe that this metaphor needs a slight update. I propose for the waves to be called the layered waves of grief. In grief, anyone will tell you there are waves upon waves, phases within phases, downs and ups within downs and ups.


If we define a grief experience as an irreversible LOSS + CHANGE, the waves will not only be a massive part of one’s reality—they also will relate to the rippling secondary losses that accompany the primary loss. We are complex beings living in complex times with complex ways of navigating the world—our grief experience will never be just grief for one thing (although it may feel like this at first). Grief is an all-encompassing experience that doesn’t leave any aspect of one’s life untouched. So be kind. To yourself, if you’re grieving. And to others, who you know are going through it.



Welcome to my second, 100-day project. I hope to provide a daily offering on something grief-related. I am a grief therapist and educator working with people in Oregon, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Maine. This feed is in honor of each person who has trusted me with their stories and wisdom during their grief journey. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult.

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