Radical Grieving

There are plenty of websites, books and programs out there designed to help people cope with grief, most of them focusing exclusively on how to grieve in a healthy way over the death of a loved one – person or pet. Not that we don’t suffer grief over other things, of course, like the loss of a job, a house, a relationship and so on. And while the process of dealing with grief is more or less the same no matter what the loss is, the grief we feel over the death of a loved one is likely to be the most intense form of grief we are ever likely to feel. Some people move through it quickly and some hang out in it for a long time. Everyone does it in their own way.

So what does The Tipping Method offer that’s different? What is Radical Grieving? Well, if you’ve already checked out Radical Forgiveness and the assumptions underlying it, and already have a sense of how that kind of forgiveness differs from conventional forgiveness, you will probably be able to imagine what this system of grieving has to offer that is, well, radical. You probably have heard about the so-called stages of grief and you might be expecting me to focus on them as most sites do. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross is the one everyone thinks of in this regard, but apparently she was misquoted. Her stages weren’t about grieving so much as the stages cancer patients tend to go through during the dying process – denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance.Nevertheless, it did form the basis for the idea that when we lose someone we do stagger along some kind of looping pathway towards final acceptance and release.

But I want to focus on how we might deal with grief from the Tipping Method perspective. Not surprisingly, we shall find that the Radical Grieving process follows more or less the same five stages that characterize Radical Forgiveness; telling the story, feeling the feelings, collapsing the story, reframing the story and integrating the new story. The first three will follow the commonly described stages of grief, such as shock, denial, anger, depression and bargaining, but where we part company with most of the other approaches is in the reframe.

As you may know the Radical Forgiveness reframe asks us to be willing to see that, from a spiritual perspective at least, nothing wrong is happening, that it’s all going according to plan and everything is in divine order. And there are no exceptions to that rule. Which means that it must apply to the manner and timing of our death as well, no matter what. Of course the caveat we add to it is that you don’t have to believe that. You only have to be willing to be open to the idea, and to express that willingness in some form – either by using a Radical Forgiveness worksheet, a 13 steps process or the three letter process.

But I should stress here too, that we insist that we don’t offer people radical forgiveness before they have had a chance to feel their feelings to the extent that they need to. We would say the same about grief. It is vital that you allow yourself to experience all the feelings and not to try to cut them short with a spiritual bypass. However, with Radical Grieving, our suffering is greatly reduced when we stop defining grief as being remorse over the death itself – as if it should not have happened. If we take the death itself out of the equation, our pain need only be in the fact that the person is no longer with us and is, and forever will be, perhaps, greatly missed.

Grief should be about our unbearable loss, not in the fact that the person has died. It would be no different if a person had gone to live on the other side of the world for good never to be heard of again. That might even be worse since their absence can be felt as an abandonment. Suicide apart, It’s hard to think of someone’s death as an abandonment, even though it can feel like it sometimes. And who is to say that dying at, say, age 25 is any worse or better than dying at 85, especially if there’s a fair chance we come back again? It makes no difference to the soul since death isn’t real anyway. We don’t die. It is simply a transition from one vibration to another. Our soul is immortal.

Neither are we absent from the lives of those we leave behind, though for the most part, we are invisible to them. That’s not to say our presence is not felt which is more than you can say for the person who has disappeared into oblivion somewhere on the planet. Many people draw a lot of comfort from knowing the soul of the person is close by and in silent communication. It is possible to have direct communication with them too.

I also make the assumption that we choose when to go and how it will happen. Who hasn’t heard the saying, “When your number’s up, that’s it?” In other words, our death is predetermined and it happens when it is meant to happen. Even the manner or timing of our loved one’s dying can be taken out of the grieving process if we apply the assumption that as souls we choose – and create – all the experiences of our lives.

That being the case, death by murder might be included if that’s what our soul wants to experience. I am writing this at the moment that the world is reliving the great crime of 9/11 ten years after to the day, which makes it all the more difficult to buy into this story.

True, we may have a lot of Radical Forgiveness to do on the perpetrators of such a crime, but fundamentally, are we entitled to say that it should not have happened if that was the soul wish of the 3,000 souls who died and that of the family members left behind, not to mention the soul wish of humanity itself? Who’s to say that we didn’t all chose to participate in the event in the hope that some yet to be realized good would come from it. In the days following 9/11, when congress met to pay its respects, the chaplain was heard to say, “the hand of God is in their somewhere.”

I believe he meant that it was our destiny and that good would some day emerge and cleanse the appearance of evil. So, you see, Radical Grieving is very much akin to Radical Forgiveness and just as much an affront to our normal way of thinking and strong beliefs. Both require we go fully into our feelings, and both work by giving us tools that connect us to our Higher Self through our Spiritual Intelligence. This is the part of us that knows the truth and the perfection of our lives as well as our soul destiny.