Processing grief – reference materials

The topic of grief came up for me in early February when my car was broken into. I realized that I am quite familiar with processing grief, and that it’s one of the main sources of my strength and life perspective. This page is to support a presentation via Zoom on April 6, 2020, and also to compile all these resources onto one page.

Key Points

  1. Grief is a spectrum of Macro<>Micro.
    Macro are the big, unwanted changes. Death of a loved one. End of a relationship, global pandemic.
    Micro (or even Nano) grief can be triggered by a simple let down of expectations. When we’re dealing with Macro grief, we may have a macro level response to a micro grief trigger.
    e.g. crying in the grocery store when the lane closes in front of you – it isn’t the lane closure that brought on tears, it’s the straw that broke us while we were just hanging on by a thread, missing a loved one so much.
  2. Call it what it is.
    I have found that grief does not go away by itself, it will lay dormant and show up in our reactions until it’s faced and processed. Especially for the small things – the micro grief – realizing that what’s happening is grief can give us the tools to move through.
    There is power for a leader to acknowledge the grief they are moving through, as a level of transparency for their team. Be human.
  3. Meet it with gratitude.
    One philosophy of mine is to bring balance to emotions by figuring out what the opposite emotion is, and increasing that in my life. In the case of grief, I found the opposite to be gratitude.
    Yes there was a loss, however what still remains?
  4. Provide structure.
    If you’re supporting others through processing grief, aim to reduce their micro grief. Clear process and structure helps with this, as well as managing expectations. To help with #3 above, can you provide them with something to be grateful for?

LinkedIn Articles

Your Team is grieving: here’s how to help

Was written a couple days into government mandated self-isolation – I saw the patterns of what was happening in the business world and wrote this article, mostly from content from the video, but with a business lens as an open letter to leaders to lead their teams not just through a work day or week, but through a pandemic.

Limit grief for your team by managing expectations

Wrote this after a few 1:1 calls with leaders who reached out from the first article. This explores a tool for managing others expectations of us, called the “user manual of me”. This tool feels especially pertinent

YouTube Video

17 minute “coffee chat” video exploring my personal story and the gift of grief