If you're grieving someone close to you, the best advice is: "Don't make sudden, big-life decisions during your first year of grief." Grief Predators is one big reason.
I hadn't heard this term nor knew about this phenomenon until 2018 - while grieving the death of my mother. A therapist I've known 20 years explained it. After I got hit by Grief Predators.
Grief Predators are not good people. They prey on the vulnerable and weak after a tragic loss. It's uncanny how well they seek out the grieved and grieving. They have a 6th sense about it. If you're not careful during your 1st year of grief, Grief Predators will find you.
Like Psychic Vampires, Grief Predators come in all forms. A new therapist or healer. A real estate agent wanting to sell your home. A home-buyer wanting to buy your home. Estate Sales companies wanting to sell off your loved one's belongings. A Hospice company back-peddling on promises after your family member died. A funeral home. A family member wanting - or taking - certain items that belonged to your loved one before you've taken inventory. Even a restaurant waitress accidentally double-charging you on your bill. These are all types of Grief Predator experiences and people.
After a close loved one dies, your emotional and spiritual energies are off-balance. Your imbalance affects your mental aptitude. Your ability to observe normal events in your life is off-balance. Your loss weakens your mental and rational state of mind. Even if you don't know it.
Grief Predators "see" your imbalance and take advantage of you - whether you're aware or not.
Grieving is similar to pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, her hormones change her behavior, yet she rarely notices. The people around her notice though! Deep grief is like that. You may feel completely "normal" during your grief process. People closest to you may notice you're not "normal." Grief Predators definitely recognize your vulnerable state.
When grieving, give yourself 12 months to grieve and be still - surrounded by people who know and love you - before making any big decisions. The only decisions you must make: funeral arrangements and keeping your physical strength up. Delegate other big decisions to people you know and trust. People who are not adversely affected by grief pain as you are. Or don't move forward on big decisions. If your loved one owned a home, wait 12 months to sell it. Rent or lease it instead. If your loved one left behind valuables, store them. Don't decide "what to do" with his/her items until you completed at least one year of grief.
You will regret making any big decisions during your first year of grief.
When my dad died March 2016, my mother was left behind to make decisions. I tried convincing her, as I do with clients: be still for one year. She chose the opposite. After she died one year later (Nov 2017), I made the same mistakes she did. A trusted therapist whom I knew for 20 years defined Grief Predators. Dr. Cheryl Martin said "you got swindled by grief predators. Be still your first year of grief."
After my father died, my parents still owned their home of 28 years. It was too big for Mom to manage alone. She often complained about it. Out of the blue, 3 months after Dad's death, a buyer contacted Mom. She did not list it nor contact a real estate agent. She had no For Sale sign in the yard. The buyer "sensed" it. Red Flag: Grief Predator. By month 7 of grieving her 56-year marriage and her husband, she sold their home for 70% of its value. She also paid 6% real estate agent fees on top of that. The agent did nothing to sell the home. The buyer used the agent to create the sales contract. Yet the buyer did not pay any agent fees. If Mom had been thinking clearly, she wouldn't have sold her home nor paid the realtor. Grief clouded her mind.
Both the buyer and real estate agent: Grief Predators. I read the sales contract and advised Mom not to sell her home. She didn't listen. She didn't listen to her closest friends and family members either. Her grief for Dad was so deep and painful, she rarely listened to anyone. She wanted the buyer and agent to stop bugging her. I called them often "please leave my mother alone." They kept pushing for the deal. A good deal for them. A bad deal for her. They knew that. They kept calling her anyway. Their insistence coerced her into selling.
She sold her home for 70% of its value. She moved into a small apartment. Her 28-year comfort zone of home was gone; like her husband of 56 years. She felt miserable and disconnected from life - until the day she died. Selling her home too soon doubled her grief discomfort: heart, soul, mind and body. Living in your comfort zone is important while you're grieving.
Watching Mom grieve Dad and make that mistake, you'd think I learned from it. I didn't. After Mom died in 2017, I followed in her footsteps - stupidly. She was the last family member I had on Earth. No one else on Earth shared my DNA anymore. I felt imbalanced, unstable, and unconnected to Earth. The same way Mom felt after Dad died. While I channeled Mom, talking to her daily after her death, the grief we both shared doubled my grief process. Not her fault. I'm just that sensitive.
Instead of remembering the 1-year-rule, I did the opposite. The pain and loneliness were too unbearable for me to make sound decisions. I knew better - spiritually, mentally. I acted opposite anyway.
During the 7th month of my grief, I sold my home of 14 years - for 75% of its value - for no real reason at all. Sold it to an investor who kept repeating "it will give you freedom." I regret that decision since the day I sold it July 2018.
Then I sold 90% my belongings and 95% my parents' belongings in an Estate Sale. I interviewed 3 Estate Sale companies - believing I was using my rational mind. Chose a Christian-owned Estate Sale company. The couple seemed honest and compassionate. They turned out to be Grief Predators. Selling my mother's and my belongings for 35% of their value to friends of theirs. They also stole some items that I didn't want sold. When I asked about them, they feigned innocence. "Not sure how that happened. Maybe a neighbor or your family member took it?" None of my neighbors nor family members did such a thing. The Estate Sale company closed their business after my sale. Couldn't find them again. $55,000 worth of items (garage sale prices); sold for total of $10,000. My cousins and one neighbor called me during the sale "they're robbing you blind. Get back in that house and stop the sale!" Unfortunately, I didn't listen to them. I didn't know HOW to walk into my own house and tell them to leave. Or ask my neighbor and cousins "can you tell them?" I was exhausted by grief. Just like Mom was.
Grief Predators compound your grief. Stick to people you know and trust. Don't make sudden life-altering moves your first year.
Beware of Grief Predators. Estate Sale companies. Realtors. Home Investors. Hospice Companies. Therapists. Bankers. Financial Advisors that you don't know nor have a referral about. During your first year, don't make big financial decisions.
Estate Sale Companies. If you can't find an Estate Sale company that someone you know has used: ask friends &/or family members to help you with the Sale. People you trust. Pay them to help you.
Therapists. My best advice on this: join a local Grief Support Group. Or contact a therapist you have used in the past. During your 1st year of grief, do not choose a new therapist who has not been highly recommended to you. Grief Support Group attendees and facilitators know good grief counselors. One-on-one grief therapy is good. Joining a support group first will lead you to a good therapist.
Grief Predators. Some hospice companies. My mother was in hospice at my home before she died of Stage 4 Lymphoma. We deliberately chose a group that offered one-on-one grief therapy after her death. I knew I would grieve heavily after she died. Combined grief of her, dad, my brother and sister - my entire family. We chose a specific hospice program and company because they repeated "yes, we provide group and one-on-one therapy for 12 months following death." After Mom died, they reneged on all that. "We're so sorry you thought we provided one-on-one therapy - or a list of therapists. We don't. We have names of Grief Support Groups. That's all. Whomever set up your account was not telling the truth."
Grief Predators exist. They will sense your vulnerabilities and weaknesses. They will use your vulnerability to their advantage; not yours. Some predators work in grief or death-related industries: hospice, funeral homes, etc. Intentionally.
When grieving a loved one, please use my personal experiences as a reminder. Don't make any sudden moves. Return to your "normal" life and make no sudden moves - until life feels normal to you again.
This post was embarrassing to write - because I did everything wrong. My mother did everything wrong. And this wasn't our first rodeo. We lost my siblings Mark and Kara in 1988. You would think 30 years later, we would've known how to "grieve" properly. We didn't. As a psychic-medium who communicates with clients' and my own Lost Loved Ones, I should've known better. As a former grief therapist, counseling the grieving, I should've known better.
Why say all this? When you're grieving, it doesn't matter who you are and what your experience - you will make mistakes. When you just want to "be still", you'll feel guilty for wanting that. You'll push forward faster and harder. When you're exhausted, you won't take good care of yourself. When you know you're making a mistake, you won't care.
This is called Survivor's Guilt. Survivor's Guilt overwhelms people who lose someone they deeply love. Please be gentle with yourself. Surround yourself with people you trust and love. For at least one full year after your loss.
May this post assist you or someone you know - who is grieving and needs support. May you find wisdom in my stupidity! Sometimes I feel like God's little experiment. Doing the opposite of what I know is best. We're all living in human bodies. Mistakes are inevitable. Minimizing yours - that's part of my job.
Robin Amanda - Your Sedona Spirit Psychic