In this episode of The Agent of Wealth Podcast, host Marc Bautis is joined by Victoria Volk, an Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, Usui and Karuna Reiki Master, YouMap® Certified Coach and End-of-Life Doula. She is also a self-published author and host of Grieving Voices Podcast. Victoria aims to use her strengths and skills through a variety of offerings to help those whose lives have been upended by grief and loss go from surviving to thriving.
In this episode, you will learn:
- The definition of grief, and how grief can be linked to money.
- Some of the ways that grief manifests in people’s lives.
- A variety of myths about grief.
- What grief recovery is.
- And more!
Disclosure: The transcript below has been lightly edited for clarity and content. It is not a direct transcription of the full conversation, which can be listened to above.
Welcome back to The Agent of Wealth Podcast, this is your host Marc Bautis. On today’s show, we’re going to talk to Victoria Volk. Victoria is an Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, Reiki Master, YouMap® Certified Coach and End-of-Life Doula. She is also a self-published author and host of Grieving Voices Podcast. Victoria aims to use her strengths and skills through a variety of offerings to help those whose lives have been upended by grief and loss go from surviving to thriving. Victoria, welcome to the show.
Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
I don’t think grief is spoken about nearly enough, and it’s fair to say that some people don’t know how to handle, or manage, their grief. So, I’m looking forward to our conversation today. Before we get started, how would you describe grief?
The Definition of Grief
Grief is the loss of hopes, dreams, and expectations, and anything we wish would be different, better, or more – about our lives, relationships, etc.
People listening might think, “What does grief have to do with money?” It really has everything to do with it.
For example, if all of a sudden you can’t work because of a mental or physical health challenge, you’ll experience grief related to income. Or if you took a big risk with your money and lost it all, there’s grief in that.
Yeah, I think one of the misconceptions is that grief only comes following death. But like you said, many things can bring grief on.
The nature of grief is that it’s cumulatively negative. If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve experienced grief in many different forms, but you wouldn’t necessarily call yourself a griever. My passion lies in educating people that grief isn’t just about death.
Many people’s first experience with loss is when a childhood pet dies or runs away. In many cases, parents will say, “Don’t worry about it. We can go to the pet store or shelter and get a new one.” They never really acknowledge the relationship the child had with that pet, or how much that loss impacts them. Many parents haven’t addressed grief in their own lives or haven’t been taught the tools to do so. So, they resort to what they know and learned, which is usually unhealthy or unhelpful.
That makes sense. What’s the difference between grief and other emotions like anger, sadness, stress, anxiety or even depression?
Ways That Grief Manifests in People’s Lives
In my opinion, anger, sadness, stress and anxiety are feelings. Depression can be a legitimate condition – I’m not minimizing that – but what’s the root of the depression? These are all symptoms of a deeply rooted issue.
These feelings, including grief, manifest in many ways in our lives. If we don’t learn coping skills, it stacks up over time and eventually we either implode or explode. In those cases, we might exhibit behaviors that are unhealthy. Examples include angry outbursts; resorting to drugs or alcohol; workaholism; shopping or gambling. All of those behaviors help us to feel better for a short period of time, but don’t address the pain.
If we don’t outwardly express what we’re feeling, it can take a physical toll on our bodies. You might experience high blood pressure, sores on your skin, stomach ulcers, migraines, fibromyalgia, and so on.
Years ago, there was a period of time where I had overall, unexplainable pain in my body. I know now that it was my body’s response to everything that I was holding in. Children can experience the same thing.
We all grieve differently, but overall, we all have the same responses.
Myths About Grief
We’ve all learned a variety of myths about grief, such as:
- Keep busy.
- Grieve alone.
- Replace the loss.
- Time heals all wounds.
- Be strong – for yourself and for others.
These are things that we’ve all been taught, so when our backs are against the wall, we resort to them. It’s what we know. But these myths are really unhelpful.
Are different people more likely to recover from grief than others? What contributes to some individuals handling grief better than others?
That’s something I’ve often wondered about myself. How do some people seem to be more resilient? I’m personally interested in exploring that.
I can say that experiencing trauma and loss as a young child has shaped me into the adult I am today. But am I more resilient than someone who experiences trauma or loss as an adult? I’m unsure.
I think being able to handle grief better – being more resilient – tracks back to childhood/upbringing… There are so many factors that come into play.
You mentioned the myths of grief. If those aren’t ways to get over grief, what are?
Well, the goal is not to get over grief. The goal is to have enough self-awareness to recognize that you are not living to your fullest potential. The goal is to know yourself.
In our society, we’re so busy doing. We pour ourselves into work, friends, relationships, and we just sweep our feelings under the rug. But it manifests and shows up in different ways – you just don’t recognize it.
So, what do you do about grief? My last client said it perfectly herself: You have to do the work. Well, what’s the work? My program, Do Grieve Differently, is a 12-week one-on-one process. In it, we address the pain, looking at what’s happened in the past and recognizing the patterns that have repeated throughout life. The goal is to create change, to choose differently, to come to a place of forgiveness and move forward.
It’s not saying you’ll never feel grief again. But, if you address the pain, when it reappears it won’t derail you for the day, week or month. You won’t tailspin into a downward spiral of hopelessness and defeat. It’s empowering when you can look at your past, honor it and truly release what you’ve been holding onto. That’s what the program is about – it’s addressing what is emotionally incomplete.
We initially talked about grief relating to financial loss. That could be a lot of different things, like a job loss, someone not feeling they are in the right financial position, losing money in an investment… I’m sure there’s countless others. Is the approach to grief recovery any different for a financial loss?
The approach is not different. It is the same. But the recommendation is to actually work on relationships with at least two people before you work on intangible losses – like the loss of trust, safety, finances, self.
I can speak for myself, when you go through the process, you’ll always discover something more. It’s like peeling back an onion. There’s layers to grief.
In the program, we really dive deep into relationships, but there might be something else that comes up later down the road. This is a process for addressing that is continual – it isn’t a one and done.
As a society, we’re always looking for a magic pill. A quick fix. That’s not going to work… This is an ongoing process, and I know people don’t want to hear that.
Well, Victoria, we’re just about out of time. I’d like to thank you for being on The Agent of Wealth Podcast today. You provided some great information on grief recovery. How can my listeners reach out to you or find out more about what you do?
Your listeners can head over to my website theunleashedheart.com, which is where my social media links. There, you’ll also find free eBooks, an energy quiz, and more.
Perfect. We’ll link to all that in the show notes. Thanks again, Victoria. And thank you to everyone who tuned into today’s episode. Don’t forget to follow The Agent of Wealth on the platform you listen from and leave us a review on the show.