Ep #39 Hierarchy of Needs

Build a Life After Loss podcast Grief hierarchy of needs Julie Cluff

Many people believe that after a devastating loss we must carry our grief within us forever. I don’t believe that we do and here is my response.

I’ve had some horrible, grief experiences. My brother’s death by suicide, a divorce, life-altering health issues and the death of my 10 year old daughter Carrie and my 8 yo son David, but I don’t leave grief on my shelf. It was definitely a central character on my shelf for some years but I’ve given it back to the library from which it came and I’ve replaced it with tremendous love and gratitude for the people I’ve lost and some occasional sadness and a permanent presence of life experiences. The losses have become a part of my history and my experience but I don’t have to lug grief around with me for ever and ever. For a time it felt like the grief would be a resident of my being forever. But by God’s grace it has lifted and dissipated with patience and work.

One woman responded with, “what a lovely transformation from grief to love you have shared.” She said that so beautifully! From grief to love.

I believe we all have the ability to move from grief to love. It certainly doesn’t happen over night but it can happen.

Also, understanding Dr. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can help us comprehend what’s going on after a loss.

Grief can affect all of our needs from basic physical needs to our psychological needs. Understanding the progression of needs and motivation helps us to better navigate our own grief.

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Love you,


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