I am a friend of the royal family and an expert in grief. Here are 7 things I want everyone to know about grief.

  • Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist, grief expert and founder of the duel works.
  • He had a personal relationship with Princess Diana and is Prince George’s godmother.
  • This is Samuel’s story, told to Kelly Burch.

This essay as stated is based on a conversation with Julia Samuel. It has been edited for length and clarity.

People are always fascinated by my relationship with him. Royal family. I was friends with Princess Diana and have worked together with Prince William on Bereavement child UK, a charity I founded to help children rebuild their lives after loss. More recently, I became the godmother of Prince George and may have helped Meghan Markle overcome her mental health issues, if you believe. the papers.

My relationship with the royal family is personal and private, so I work to keep it that way. But through my work as a grief psychotherapist, I know that everyone, royal or not, will experience grief in their lifetime. That’s part of the fascination with royalty: people look at them and see their own experiences of loss.

Grief is universal, but we don’t talk about it. I want to change that. That’s why I wrote “Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Survival.” the duel works it became a course, then an app, to help people heal. This is what I want people to know about grief.

The pain stays with us

The biggest misconception about grief is that we can get through it. I believe we can heal, but we never fully leave the pain behind. I like an analogy here: if we think of grief as a fluid, soon after a loss, it fills us completely. But with time and guidance, we grow. Mourning does not shrink, but it occupies a smaller space within us.

healing is work

I chose the name of my book because grieving really is work. You have to learn skills and move through emotions. It can be tempting to bottle things up and ignore them, but that will only make the job harder in the long run.

You will experience so many different emotions.

Grief is a word, but we use it to refer to a whole universe of emotions. After a loss, you won’t just feel sad. You will feel angry, terrified, outraged and frustrated, as well as grateful for the relationship. Sometimes you will feel these conflicting emotions at the same time, which can make you think you have lost your mind. If you can break down the emotions and name each one, you will be able to better understand and process them.

It’s okay to have moments of happiness.

After a loss, it seems that the most direct connection to our loved one is the pain of our grief. If we laugh out loud or enjoy a day with friends, we may feel guilty about abandoning our loved one. However, you do not have to prove your suffering. You can spend time with the grief, but then compartmentalize it enough to do other things.

Relationships continue after death.

When your parent or partner dies, your relationship with them doesn’t end. The love you feel does not suddenly disappear. But the way of expressing it must change. Find new ways to connect with that person or their memory. This could be wearing a piece of jewelry, cooking a meal they love, or visiting a tree you planted in their memory.

Create a story around the loss

Having a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end calms your system down. After a loss, it is powerful to journal and create the story of your relationship with your loved one and their death. Even a story with holes in it can help you process. Over time, you may find more information to fill in the details.

We have to talk about death.

We all die. But neither of us wants to talk about it. So when it happens, our loved ones are thrown into a new world without a map. If you can have conversations about death long before it happens, it makes everything a lot less scary. You won’t hasten your loved one’s death by asking about their last wishes, but it will make dealing with the logistics a bit easier when the time comes. Guilt and what-ifs are the most painful part of grieving. You can prevent this from your loved ones by being open about your end-of-life wishes.

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