As If the Obvious Loss Were Not Enough, Grief Also Triggers Old Wounds

May 29, 2024 ◊ By Elisa Everts ◊ |

As If the Obvious Loss Were Not Enough, Grief Also Triggers Old Wounds

Last week I talked a little about our triggers and how it's ultimately our responsibility to manage our wounds, but it is also a loving act to try to avoid activating the wounds of others. This week I want to talk to you about the relationship between our old wounds and grief.

Our old wounds are always hanging around waiting to be activated. In fact, any time we are in stress or pain they are likely to raise their homely heads and exacerbate the situation. Unfortunately, grief is one of those times.

Just when you think you've got all the pain you can handle, even more pain rises from your past and escalates your crisis of grief. In fact, it can be difficult to tease apart what pain is from the current loss and what pain is actually being activated from an old wound.

If grief goes on longer than you might think is reasonable (in my case I grieved hard for seven years over the death of a friend which turned out to have activated the wounds from my brother's death years earlier), you may want to consult a therapist. Sometimes trauma therapy is just what the doctor ordered and may dramatically change your life.

The good news is that it is precisely in times of crisis when we can tend those old wounds, make new choices about how we respond to them and actually bring healing to them. Here's the paradoxical key: Your wounds actually have to be activated in order to get healed.

So thank you, Grief. Besides being an expression of love, you are also an opportunity for healing to occur. Being aware of the role old wounds play in current grief is one of the very important ways that we can manage hope.

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About the author

Dr. Elisa Everts is the founder of Evertree Hope Management and is a dynamic public speaker, author and trainer. Dr Everts is passionate about helping cancer patients and bereaved people in their quest to survive and live a full life during and after cancer and grief. She has the personal experience of surviving Stage IV cancer and the loss of many loved ones. She understands the challenges inherent in these experiences and the importance of cultivating hope through the stories we tell others, and even more importantly, to ourselves.

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Elisa Everts, phd

Speaker | Author | Educator

Finding Hope in Cancer & Grief

Elisa Everts, phd

Speaker | Author | Educator

Finding Hope in Cancer & Grief

I speak to medical professionals and patients, helping them provide hope when there seems to be none. If you or your organization need someone to help process the difficult topics of cancer and grief, let's set up a complimentary call, 703-656-6691, ee@elisaeverts.com.

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