Growth in Grief & Change

Alexia Georghiou
2 min readMay 27, 2022

The Shock

The SARAH Model of Change speaks to the normal process human beings go through when experiencing any loss and change.

When I received news that my uncle in Cyprus has died September 2019, I felt SHOCK. It was the beginning of numerous unplanned events that were out of my control. Suddenly he was gone from this world. I remember my couch was in a different configuration in my living room. For the next few days, I spent time with my mom. She decided not to return to Cyprus, as she had just returned from a month long trip. We grieved from afar. Months later, I thought how he would not have fared well during the worldwide shut down as part of his daily routine was walking on the boardwalk at the beach with his friends, after a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. I again was in SHOCK. How could the world just shut down? It was like a dream, and that is the effect of it.

This model shows us how connected our mental health is to our physical health. Notice the SHOCK phase is in the blue; a space where we are FROZEN.

When we are in SHOCK, we are in the Blue. We Freeze up, Shut-Down, feel Hopeless, and Helpless. There could even be a sense of Dissociation where we separate our mind and spirit being from our body in effort to survive the pain by not feeling it. We cannot stay in this overwhelmed state of being, where we respond, ‘I can’t.’ Our goal is to return to the, ‘I can,’ beginning with red with the goal of the calm pastures of the green zone.

Worksheet for Your Journaling

  • When was a time you felt shock?
  • What did the Blue/Freeze Zone experience feel like?
  • Describe it with a color.
  • Describe it within your body.
  • Were emotions evident?
  • What helped you feel again?
  • How often did you return to the Shock, once you felt the, ‘I can?’

There is growth in grief and change, there is hope! In this series, we will be exploring each part of this process. Take a few moments daily to honor your grief.