To mark Earth Day, I want to highlight the grief we might feel for the change our world is going through
What we’re witnessing can leave us feeling the loss of multiple environments, such as rainforests being destroyed by man, polar regions rapidly transforming, the devastating fires, typhoons, flooding and natural disasters that sweep across our world. The increase in changing weather patterns are now closer to home and you may have been affected by them personally.
We may feel anticipatory grief, which can start when we become aware that a loss is going to happen. With climate change, we can start to feel the symptoms of sadness and despair, for example the realisation of something you’d consider ‘not in our lifetime,’ such as the loss of animal species that we have been lucky enough to see, that our children and future generation aren’t likely to.
As we witness this change it can evoke many conflicting emotions - sadness, anger, anxiety and uncertainty, along with a feeling of a loss of control over what is happening to the world around us.
During the exposure through social media of what is happening around us, these conflicting feelings are often not acknowledged, resulting in emotions being suppressed. We begin to carry this ‘weight’ around with us throughout our daily life.
Grief and the feelings associated with it affects us all, children and adults, in a unique and individual way. We all feel and react differently and we feel our loss at 100%.
Society doesn’t really tell us how to manage our grief and emotions.
We are told to be strong, not to cry and not to be scared, as ‘it will be ok.’ All this does is lead us to believe that we shouldn’t feel how we feel.
What can we do?
Acknowledge your feelings
How are you feeling? Angry, sad, anxious, nervous?
Share your feelings with someone who you feel safe with, someone who will really listen to you. Take the time to accept them rather than bury them.
Know you are not alone
One of the positive aspects of social media is that we become aware that others are also processing their own feelings of grief. Get involved with local likeminded people. Being part of a group can help you share your thoughts and feelings. You do not have to experience this alone.
Look at what you CAN do
Is your local community organising events, such as litter picking or beach cleans? This is something the whole family can become involved with. This is a way that you can make a difference. Enjoy your time in nature, look at what you have around you.
Acknowledge the things you CAN’T change
There will be events that you have no control over. Talk through how this makes you feel, acknowledge your feelings.
Taking action and talking through how you feel can really help you fee better emotionally.
To find out more please do get in touch with me.
Jill Attree is a Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist, based in Dorset. Jill has helped grievers throughout the UK by listening without judgement, analysis or criticism - so that you can move forward through your loss. To help you create a brighter tomorrow. Find out more about Jill.