Written by Sarah Kirton | Updated On November 27, 2022

“Grief is not a problem to be solved - it is a message that wants our attention” - Carrie Doubts

“Grief is not a problem to be solved - it is a message that wants our attention” - Carrie Doubts

Carrie Doubts, Transformational Life Coach from Life’s Next Chapter Coaching, explains just how loss and grief can affect us in our everyday lives, and what she can do to help us overcome this sometimes seemingly gigantic hurdle.

How does loss manifest itself in the human body and mind?

Loss manifests as grief, the natural reaction we have to loss. Grief can manifest itself in the body, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Physically, one can have trouble sleeping, have low energy, suffer from muscle aches and pains, from immune suppression, large amounts of weight can be lost or gained, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches…

Mentally, we often refer to the grief fog where we often find ourselves in denial, having disorganized thoughts and difficulty concentrating, avoidance of the whole issue, judgment of ourselves or others, regrets…

Emotionally there is that initial shock and numbness at the time of loss, then sadness, tears, anxiety, fearfulness, helplessness and guilt, longing and yearning for life to go back to how it was before

Socially we experience social distancing, legal and financial issues, and probably most importantly loneliness and isolation – especially if a person was lost.

Spiritually, there can be a crisis of faith – why did this happen to me? Feeling abandoned and angry at God, loss of meaning or purpose…

As we can see, grief manifests itself across the board in many direct and indirect ways, both in our bodies, our energy fields, and in our minds.

Do you believe pain and trauma to be positive in the sense that they are a catalyst for change?

Yes, however it is not something that I share with my clients at the beginning of their pain and loss. Coping mechanisms kick in during the early stages of loss and people are simply not ready to hear such things.

In the long-term and having gone through the tasks of mourning, we can and do learn the gifts that are inherent in our grief. Typically, we find we have become a better person because of it; more compassionate and more in tune with our thoughts and feelings and feeling like we are living a life of purpose and meaning. There is great potential to create a life that we love as we adjust to our “new normal.”

So yes, to answer the question, it is a catalyst for change but this only becomes visible and attainable later in the grieving journey.

How does a Transformational Life Coach (Carrie) approach grief and loss with their clients?

Fundamentally, grief is not a problem to be solved – it is a message that wants your attention. It has the potential to be a transformational vehicle to consciously create your life’s next chapter on the other side of this loss.

It does take time and guidance. There are a lot of ways of dealing with grief that are not helpful, that result in it taking a lot more time and other resources than is necessary. Statistically, it can take 5-8 years to “recover” from a loss such as the death of a loved one. With my clients, I guide them through an accelerated process meaning that the time spent suffering and in the struggle is significantly shorter than previously mentioned.

How does anger impact us after loss and what role does it play in the healing process?

Anger is going to be present. Many of us are afraid of anger or have been conditioned to believe that anger is a bad thing. When we feel angry feelings, it can rock our world because of these beliefs. It makes us not recognize ourselves, which can feel scary!

Anger often comes out when something important has been taken away, a value we hold has been dismissed, or a boundary has been violated. It is a totally natural feeling. It is how we deal with it that can be problematic. If we can meet the anger with compassion and listen to it rather than acting out from it, we are on the road to healing. Anger is just a feeling that wants attention because it carries a message which we need to listen to.

Do you believe it necessary to seek some kind of counsel after a traumatic loss so as not to sweep emotions under the carpet?

I do. We are social beings and, if left to our own devices, we probably wouldn’t face the difficult emotions, situations, and circumstances and that we need to deal with because of the pain.

We need someone to hold a safe space for us to process this loss. We also need a little more than simply being held in this space, and here’s why. I consider coaching to be entirely beneficial to help someone go through a traumatic loss, to be met where they are, and to help take the steps to rebuild their lives after the loss.

My husband passed only 14 months ago. Being a grief counselor, I know the territory. However, losing my partner and best friend had was me walking it, sometimes on my hands and knees. Now, I know the territory intimately. And, coming out the other side of my trauma and pain makes me very well attuned to where people are in their process, where they might be stuck, and how we can get them moving again.

Which of your services is the most sought after, and why?

I have created a nine-step process – my Rebuilding Your Life After Loss Program. This is what most people are looking for. Its purpose is to help people reconnect with their heart, reclaim their power and realign with their purpose to create their life’s next chapter.

I work more on an individual basis nowadays and I find this to be very effective. I meet people where they are in their process and we may go through all the nine steps in a different order. It depends entirely on that person’s needs at the time. This is what I am most known for. I also offer group coaching, online courses, and facilitate workshops and retreats.

This is a glimpse into the nine steps, and you can find out more on my website:

Creating a safety net – it is safe to feel, share and release your feelings
Designing the vision of the future – asking yourself the important questions, “Who am I?” and “What do I want?”
Creating that future – taking steps to move forward towards your goals
Making peace with the past – healing through letting go with forgiveness
Self-care – creating capacity through radical self-care
Exploring purpose and meaning – “What am I ready to say “Yes!” to?
Embracing your strengths – harvesting the gifts of your grief
Anchoring what you have learned by giving back – how service is the natural next step

Want to learn more about Life’s Next Chapter Coaching? Visit https://lifesnextchaptercoaching.com or follow on https://www.linkedin.com/in/carriedoubts/

About the author
Sarah is a keen and passionate advocate of the spiritual and healing components within the mystical realm of the world we live in. She resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, kite surfing, and playing guitar.