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Relieving grief

 | April 6, 2012

Everyone, whatever age or culture, has ways of dealing with grief, and all lead to the acceptance of the loss.


It’s been years now and I still remember that very sad day. My adorable St Benard had walked into my living room, lied beside me and silently died. I have written this article in grief and in love and in remembrance of my dog “Dutchess”.

Human beings form bonds of attachment throughout their lives. The attachment starts with their parents and then includes pets, friends, significant others, intimate partners, and finally their own family.

Disruption or loss of these bonds of attachment causes great mental pain, which is shown by grieving and mourning.

The grief process is normal. People never fully recover from losing someone they deeply love. They are changed by the loss and hopefully, a new strength or other positive emotions are the result of that change.

If the process of mourning does not take place, the grief may be delayed or show up in a negative way. Abnormal grief, an intense and enduring response increases the risk of developing psychosomatic symptoms like illness, migraines, dizzy spells, anger and irritability.

When a person is unwilling or unable to mourn, stress is maintained in the person’s life until other life events help to bring the grief into focus.

The normal initial reaction to loss is shock that it happened. The conscious reality of the situation is then acknowledged. This is followed by a period of denial and then despair, which may include self-blame. Eventually, detachment is realised and acceptance of the loss is obtained.

Acceptance of loss is part of the natural order of life that can aid grief. Everyone, whatever age or culture, has ways of dealing with grief, and all lead to the acceptance of the loss.

Hypnosis is a mind massage in which words are used to gently stroke the mind. Hypnosis and soothing positive imaging can help you to picture the reality and acceptance of the loss.

During therapy, a client can subconsciously visualise expressing the pain to family, friends or a support group. They can be coached to honour the departed and find a way to remember or commemorate the loved one.

Also, acknowledging and balancing conflicting emotions, whether positive or negative, associated with the loss is important so that the loss can be put into perspective.

“You feel a sense of love and healing permeating your heart, your mind, and your body. Your self feels whole again. You feel open and free. You feel strong and alive. You experience a feeling of happiness and joy. You know these feelings will stay with you.”

Release and move on. Saying goodbye on an emotional level allows the withdrawal of emotional investment in the loss. Restructuring the current and future is necessary for one to move on with life and participate in it. Things “turn out best” for people who make the best of the way things “turn out.”

Goodbye my dearest “Dutchess”.

Julian is a London trained subconscious specialist with Hypno-Station. He is Malaysia’s most renowned clinical hypnotherapist, media personality, columnist, event host and book author. He can be contacted at [email protected].


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