Healing Series: Grief Part 2 with Janet Nordine, MS, LMFT

Today Janet Nordine, MS, LMFT is back to address grief. This time she is teaching us about experiencing grief as an adult adoptee. Have you lost a loved one recently? Revisiting grief as an adult adoptee is a totally different ballgame. We also discuss what can happen to us if we stuff down our feelings instead of processing them.

Show Notes


Topics We Discussed

  • Janet discovered that she has a biological sister and within 38 days they became dear friends and true sisters… and then she passed away. It was absolutely shocking for Janet.
  • Janet talks about her experience of grieving through hearing the news, to accepting the shock of it and what the last year without her has been like.
  • Choosing to celebrate her sister in different ways; for example noticing a sunset and thinking, “my sister would have really loved to see this with me”.
  • Adoptees start grieving as soon as we’re born (If we were relinquished at that time), so we are intimately aware and affected by grief.
  • If we lose a loved one, Janet believes we go “deeper” into grief because we’ve been so steeped in grief our whole lives.
  • Lines between our different losses and grief can get very blurred. This feeling can be familiar.
  • Stages of grief - absolutely not linear, can feel confusing
  • Adoptees can sometimes feel they aren’t entitled to share how we feel, but we need to speak up and share what’s happening for us
  • “Even in grief, we need to ask for what we need”
  • What do adoptees need when experiencing grief?
    • healthy coping skills - not alcohol/drugs
    • look to things that bring comfort - crying on the couch, being out in nature, listen to music
    • honouring ourselves and our grief is healing, don’t tell yourself to hurry up and get over it
  • What are signs that we need further intervention or support?
    • when you become unable to do normal tasks (like getting out of bed or leaving the house)
    • overwhelming fear that we’ll lose everyone
    • “as adoptees we are wired to feel loss” - if it gets to the point of debilitating, we need to seek help
  • “What we resist persists”


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