I don’t know about you but i’ve felt sad, overwhelmed and anxious these past few days. This could be because there are videos of innocent Black men being executed on my Facebook newsfeed or it could be the ominous feeling that I always have…waiting for the next hashtag… waiting to hear that another Black man or woman has been executed by an officer and nothing will be done about it. This type of grief can be short term or chronic. Nonetheless, we must find ways to process it. There are seven stages of grief: 1. Shock/Disbelief 2. Denial 3. Anger 4. Bargaining 5. Guilt 6. Depression 7. Acceptance/Hope.
This week at Sisters of the Yam we focused on grief and identified the places in our lives where we are grieving, and the places inside us where there is perpetual grief. We identified the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that let us know we are in a particular stage of grief. For instance, some women stated that they knew that they were in stage 2: denial when they started to distract themselves or tune out/disassociate.
In many ways our grief becomes an unconscious habit. This exercise asked participants to become more conscious of the way we move through sadness, as it shows the way we move toward healing.
We ended up seeing that our ways of moving through grief didn’t always make us feel amazing or nourished. We also identified the stages of grief we often get stuck in. Some of us stay angry. Some of us stay depressed. It is important to know that these are all steps to healing. All coming closer to acceptance and hope.
Afterwards, we all made custom designed grieving plans. We asked ourselves, in ideal circumstances how would we move through our sadness, restlessness and anger? For instance, if we have the urge to lay in bed all day long because we feel depressed, how else might we honor that lack of energy. Could we take a long bath, instead of sleeping all day, as an act of self care and soak till the water gets cold. After brainstorming for a while we each shared our plans for grieving consciously.
Look on the site to see our 7 stages of grieving chart and check out our “conscious grieving plans” here: