What is GRIEF then?

The medical experts tell us it’s a natural response to the loss of someone or something we had emotionally bonded to. No wonder it feels like our bloody heart is being ripped out when the bond is wrenched from us.

The pain. Well … there are no words really.

The chaos of bottled-up GRIEF was at the core of my pain for the first 33 years of my life, as it is for many of us. Back in 1995 when I finally put down my emotional weapons of mass distraction, what do I mean? Booze, drugs, food, blaming males, competing with females, smothering my children with hypervigilant parenting and disconnected sex.

Once I paused and took a breath to have a good look at the common denominator within all the dramas and emotional chaos of my life, what I discovered was …

You guessed it. Me.

Along with my reluctant emotional ownership also came an unwelcome truckload of denial about my heart’s deep, toxic secrets fuelling my shame based GRIEF. That is when the sewage of past GRIEF caught up with me and knocked me well and truly on my arse.

I could not get back up on my own emotional feet. I was down for the count. My heart felt so intolerably raw I was immobilised for quite a while. Hospitalised by a leading Brisbane psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with chronic posttraumatic stress. A medical term that just translates if you ask me to mean …

The tsunami wave of GRIEF sewage has finally hit home.

Chaotic to say the least.

I confess I am no Elisabeth Kubler-Ross on the tender subject of GRIEF that’s for sure. Nor am I definitely no academic expert on the medical psychology of GRIEF. However, what I have had a great deal of personal experience in is surviving crippling, chaotic GRIEF firsthand in my own life.

I have supported thousands of clients over the past two decades from many different walks of life. Some of the wisest most educational clients I have worked with have lived in jails, rehabs and the elite sporting world. Others are immersed within the glamorous yet emotionally disorienting, chaotic world of celebrity, while some clients simply identify themselves as being just “everyday people.”

One thing I have respectfully learnt (without a doubt) from the emotionally life-threatening tsunami events we so neatly label as “GRIEF” is that there’s nothin’ neat about GRIEF. Having endured more than one tsunami grief wave in my lifetime all I can say is that the journey to that safe and sane land called “RELIEF” is really tough.

Really, bloody tough on the ol’ heart.

When it feels like you’re drowning in it there seems to be a helluva lot more than the textbook clean-cut stages of GRIEF you gotta get through.

If you have never heard about The Seven Stages of Grief there is a great book called Back to Life which you can order from if you need more help.

GRIEF is not for the faint-hearted, it’s tough going and upsettingly messy! It seems to wipe out every thought, feeling, word and action in its path like a tsunami does, leaving us in its wake, feeling like an absolute emotionally broken wreck about everything and everyone.

GRIEF shows up as chapters end in our lives. Some of us process GRIEF for many years and require a steady diet of emotional support coupled with quality solitude. My daily reading and writing about recovery one day at a time has been a vital tool that has helped me process GRIEF and find gentle, consistent relief. We all need to find our own tools and tips to help us when facing our GRIEF full frontal.

Those of us that don’t shirk our GRIEF homework gain wisdom, compassion and eventually find peaceful RELIEF.

The human heart needs help to process GRIEF, coupled with time alone to heal. GRIEF and RELIEF are the bookends to our emotional growth. GRIEF kicks us off on our journey, causing great disharmony forces us to face our deepest fears. If we don’t give up and keep believing in love and life relief will eventually welcome us home as we make peace with ourselves and life’s inevitable lessons in loss. William Cowper sums up this unavoidable, bittersweet emotional reality.

“GRIEF is itself a medicine.”

Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™

This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.


Cynthia Morton

Managing Director

Cynthia Morton is a bestselling Author, Blogger, Speaker and Founder of the multi award winning Emotional Fitness Program.