Those who struggle with complicated grief know how frustrating it can be to figure out why. This grief, often associated with a traumatic experience in our lives, tends to follow us in the later stages of our lives.
In this session, Greg Washington interviews Jason Holzer on overcoming grief and moving on past the event. This podcast explores migrating to the other side, which is much peaceful, calming, and free of negativity.
Jason Holzer is a bestselling Amazon writer, storyteller, and basketball coach. But more importantly, Jason has had his fair share of trauma.
Losing his dad to suicide at 17, a young Jason mastered the act of emotional resilience, beating negativity and living a life of peace, happiness, and fulfillment. Jason puts us through some aspects of coping, leveraging his insightful first-hand experience of grief.
Jason on individual coping skills
Regardless of cultural and gender generalizations, individuals cope differently with trauma. Given the psychological diversity in humans, we tend to have varying responses to a shared incidence. Let us tap into Jason’s experience.
When he lost his dad, while Jason’s mother was coping with the loss of a spouse, Jason was coping with the loss of a mentor. On a personalized note, Jason was struggling with guilt.
Guilt that if he had helped his dad more, he possibly could have averted the suicide. More than that, Jason assumed that he was consequently the man of the house, piling enormous pressure on himself unnecessarily.
This was not the case with his mother, sister, or grandma who felt the loss of Jason’s dad in a different way.
Tools and techniques for coping
As Jason explains in this podcast, many people going through grief tend to combat the trauma by ignoring grief. These people put up a show, attempting to send a message on the outside that they are well and healed.
But this rarely works. The pain –or residues of the pain – remain and tend to unconsciously express itself in events across your life, especially when you are stressed.
Given that society tends to label people who feel or display emotion as weak, grieving individuals, especially males, attempt to bottle up their emotions, appearing healthy but decaying within. This stigma is multiplied when you are a service member or veteran.
Suppressing the pain doesn’t always work. The more sustainable way to healing is owning up to your emotions, acknowledging the hurt. But instead of resorting to negative habits, you commit to expressing your emotions healthily and positively.
Learning to forgive
Jason Holzer only managed to reach the other side, which is joyful and serene, when he finally let go of the hurt of his dad’s suicide.
Across the years, try as hard as he may, Jason held grudges against his dad. He felt his dad was uncaring and selfish when he took his life without considering the impact on him. He felt his dad abandoned him.
But by forgiving his dad and renouncing all the grudges, Jason recounts feeling like an enormous burden sliding off his shoulder: what a relief to let it all go!
According to Jason, genuine forgiveness is not a one-off exercise but a deliberate commitment to continue letting go anytime the anger and hurt arise.
The importance of having the right community
Jason reckons a large part of his success in overcoming grief could be attributed to being in the right community. Jason surrounded himself with positive energy, thriving off the care and optimism of coaches, mentors, and accountability partners.
This played a crucial role in helping him feel appreciated and valued, restoring more meaning to life for him.
At Guards Down, we have connected the community that is essential in recovery from grief and trauma. Reach out to one of our culturally-sensitive trained coaches and counselors who you can relate to, and who can recommend effective, alternative solutions for your specific needs!