The Nature and Process of Grief

[Excerpt from TT: 2009-09]


Grief is always about change, and the process of accepting the truth about that change. This change is always in relation to something or someone else. Though the change may not be a literal loss or a literal death, the experience is always as if both of these have occurred.

Grief can be experienced during changes in objects, experiences, and relationships. Grief can be experienced across the spectrum from the death of a loved one to the missing of a phone call or an opportunity. The intensity of grief over a missed phone call can be as deep as that of losing a loved one, if that phone call meant something to the griever, and the loss of a loved one can be as quickly processed as the simple missing of a phone call, if the griever anticipated the loss and began expanding the symbolism assigned to that loved one.

The intensity and shock of grief is equal to the momentum of the relationship, and the longevity of grief is equal to the depth of symbolism of the experience, object, or person. When the momentum is strong (which would include relationships that are “taken for granted”) the greater can be the intensity of surprise and grief. The deeper the symbolism assigned to the object, experience, or person being grieved, the longer that intensity will take to process over time. In other words, the more something or someone means to you, the longer the grief is experienced, and the more investment you had to in that something or someone, the more shocking is the loss.

First, we would say that the general understanding of how grief is processed in the 4 steps of Shock, Search, Disintegration, and Acceptance is valid. Some processes are describe in 5 steps and others in 7 steps, but we see these 4 steps as being the most succinct. The first three steps deal with questions relevant to the stages of acceptance of the new truth, (How?/Why?, Where?/Who?, and What?/When?) and the fourth being that of the acceptance, itself. The questions listed above are vital to the process of grief and paired like the axes of our own system because they are relevant to the axes of our system (Inspiration, Expression, Action, Assimilation). We will elaborate below.

There are two ways for understanding the process of grief using our teaching and perspective: one is through the understanding of the Body Types; one is through the understanding of the Overleaves.

Because grief is a physical plane phenomenon, the body is the entire structure for this process. Therefore, the Body Type plays a pivotal role in the overall struggle for acceptance of a new truth.

In all cases of grief, the resolution comes when the individual feels he or she has “made sense” of the truth in the change. How each individual comes to make sense of that truth can be understood in the Body Type. The Primary Body Type will reveal where the emphasis of questioning is most in need of “making sense” for that individual or the grief cannot be processed.

Lunar and Saturn Body Types tend to make sense of grief through Emotional processing using the imagination and perception, and do not require logic for comprehension. The questions of WHERE and WHO must be answered for these Bodies. For instance, sense must be made of Where the loved one has gone, and Who one is after accepting this truth of change. The more difficulty in answering these questions, the more intense and lengthy the experience of grief.

Venus and Mercury Body Types tend to make sense of grief through Intellectual processing, using analysis and insight, and can often seem surprisingly calm during their grief. These Bodies tend to allow plenty of room for the emotions, but do not emphasize them as the primary form of processing. Instead, sense is sought to be made through the questions of WHY and HOW. For instance, when a loved one dies, the struggle is in the answering of Why this happened, and How it could have happened.

Mars and Jupiter Body Types tend to make sense of grief through the Physical process of action and reaction, and can seem the most shut down or volatile of all. These Bodies feel the experience of grief the most personally, as it brings into glaring reality the body’s own mortality. Those with Mars or Jupiter Body Types can be the most reckless and dangerous with their bodies, seemingly fearless, but if faced with the death of someone, it impacts them in a way that way that can short-circuit them indefinitely. These Bodies must make sense of the WHEN and the WHAT of the grief, bringing into question the When of time and mortality, and the What of accomplishment, What was unfinished, and What happened, etc.

Note that the What of an experience is very different from the Why of an experience. What happened is very different from Why it happened.

Solar Body Types are the Neutral Body Types and will tend to process grief relative to the Body Type of the other individual involved who may have been lost, or in the way that is most familiar to them from imprinting and example, or by proxy of who is most intimate with that body.

For all Bodies, the questions of Who/Where, How/Why, and When/What must be answered to some degree for resolution, but the most demanding of questions would be those associated with the Primary Body Type.

Understanding grief in terms of how it processes through the Overleaves can also shed light on the experience. As this is a physical phenomenon, and played out through the Body, it is only natural that the Overleaves that make up the Personality would be involved, as they are biologically embedded.

For simplicity’s sake, we are using the term “overleaves” to describe the components of the process below, but not all of the terms in this process are technically overleaves.

As grief is the process of accepting the truth of change in relationship to something or someone, grief always impacts the Mode first, which is the overleaf that manages relationships. Centering is impacted next, then the Goal, then the Body Type, then the Attitude, then Soul Age, and finally the Role in Essence.

This process can be understood in terms of impact and then ignition for each Overleaf.

The change, loss, death impacts the Mode/Relationship, igniting the inescapable necessity to adapt to the new truth of the relationship. This then impacts the Centering, throwing the fragment off-balance, thus igniting the Centering as the means for beginning the process and resolution of the experience. This then impacts the Goal, throwing off participation in life and personal ambitions, igniting one to recalculate directions and personal choices. At this point, the Body Type is impacted, which ignites the arcing questions that are primary to that individual’s physical existence. This then impacts the personal philosophy, or Attitude, about one’s existence, which then ignites a calibration of that personal philosophy so as to adapt to the new truth. This new truth then impacts the Soul Age that represents where Essence has plateaued in evolution, igniting further evolution and stretching. The stretch in perception impacts the connection to Essence, igniting manifestation of Essence back through the Body, where the other side of the change and new truth can now be embraced.


This may seem rather elaborate for those processes of grief that do not seem lengthy or intense, but the length and intensity have no bearing on how it is processed in the Overleaves. It will always impact the Mode first and then move through the Overleaves, resolving in the manifestation of Essence, or the return to Being or Self, so to speak.

This process through the Overleaves is often not completed and the grief remains “stuck” in one of the areas represented by the Overleaf path we described above. When grief gets stuck in an area, it can become a part of that area of the Personality, affecting that “overleaf” in a way that draws grief into that area of life in other ways, and even becoming a primary contributing factor to the eventual death of the body. For instance, if grief becomes “stuck” in the Emotional Centering of a fragment, then this fragment may constantly experience grief within a majority of relationships. If the grief were to be “stuck” in a Spiritualist Attitude (seeing the potential in life), then that person may interpret the majority of potential around himself as only having the potential for loss.

To pull all of this together, we could map it out in the following way:

Stage One of Shock is processed through > Mode > Centering
Stage Two of Search is processed through > Goal > Body Type

(Who/Where, How/Why, or When/What is now emphasized)

Stage Three of Disintegration is processed through > Attitude > Soul Age
Stage Four of Acceptance is integrated through > Manifested Essence

A final consideration is to note that the processing of grief is very different from recovering from grief.