Lisa Richards talks about how the Grief Recovery Method
has changed her life and how she is now bringing that process to Centre for Integral Health Shrewsbury for the benefit of the town's people with the launch of the first pilot course in March 2018
The first time I came across the Grief Recovery Method was a year or so ago, when I saw a leaflet
about it in our office kitchen and even though I thought it might help someone, little did I think that
someone would be me….why ?
Well even though I had had a series of bereavements in my life, to me, they were done, in the past
and that is where I wanted them to stay because they had been so painful. In my mind I had
convinced myself, I had come through them all and was a survivor and proud of it ! But they say
“pride comes before a fall” and in my case. it was so right; as just 6 months later I found myself
unravelling before my very eyes and it shocked me to my very core as I realised that I had in fact
been deluding myself all of these years……so whilst outwardly I looked fine and could cope with
anything life threw at me, inwardly, the picture was very different, I just didn’t want to admit it to
anyone and more importantly myself.
So one summer’s day in June 2017, at a wellbeing event in my office, a lady approached and started
talking to me. In the minutes that followed, she told me what she did and why and at that point I
found myself spontaneously bursting into tears. In those few moments, she had touched a raw nerve
that brought the tidal wave of emotion inside come flooding out. I was embarrassed and through
the tears tried to say that this was not me as I was a survivor, but fortunately this lady just smiled
and listened. She knew that she had once stood where I was, having suffered a significant amount of
grief in her life too, the difference was she had found the help that allowed her to let go of and be
free of the pain she had experienced. Now this lady was a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and a
different person, happier in her own skin, and not only able to talk about her experiences without
getting emotional, but also willing to share them to help other like myself to see there was a better
way to deal with grief.
I was amazed and in the weeks that followed, I decided to do the programme because on that day, I
saw a glimpse of what I could be and that gave me hope that finally I too could move on with my life,
as I had wanted to for so long, it was just that I hadn’t known how.
One of the first things that I learnt in doing the Grief Recovery Method is myths surrounding grief, all
of which we learn as we grow up, but the one that really struck a chord with me was “Time heals all
wounds” mainly because I knew it didn’t. 30 years after my mum tried to take her own life, the
feelings I had were still raw in spite of many years of counselling and therapy, indeed it was just as
painful, but this statement lead to believe that time would eventually melt the pain and I would be
fine. That is why the following example in the Grief Recovery Handbook illustrates how absurd this
notion is….. on discovering that your car had a flat tyre, would you pull up a chair next to that car, sit
and wait for it to somehow get better ? Of course not, you would seek help to allow you to carry on
your journey. Fundamentally it is the action taken that allows you to move on, its just that in the
case of grief, many don’t know what action to take.
The Grief Recovery Method offers that help if you want it and in working through it, I realised that it
offers a different and a better set of tools to help with grief than the ones that I had been given and
“recovery from loss is made possible by a series of simple and correct choices made by the griever”.
Recovery Method for 2 hours, over 8 weeks where you will learn about the myths of grief, what
people do to distract themselves and how to finally let go of your grief provided you are open,
honest and committed to the process. Having done it myself, I won’t pretend to you that it is easy to
open up, but what I will say is that if you take courage and face your fears, you will recover and be
able to enjoy fond memories without the painful feelings you might have now. So why wait ?