Understanding Grief And Loss

Emotional strategies to ease the pain


Keeping It Together

Understanding grief and loss…

Give yourself permission to feel the pain and loss. This is most important. Follow where your grief takes you. The grief process will take a long time, probably much longer than you expect. Don’t listen to timetables, stage models, or anyone else’s idea of how or when you should or shouldn’t be grieving. It’s your grief, not theirs!

You have a right to treasure memories of your lost one. Memories are one of the best legacies you are left with. Loving memories do not prolong grief, but rather help you cope with and resolve it.

Focus on the good things you did on behalf of your loved one. Don’t dwell on the “if onlys” or “could have/should haves”. You are only human and could not have prepared for this.

Cling to hope. You will get better. There will come a time when you will find some degree of joy in life again. Your life will be changed forever, and you will never fill the void left by the death, but you will learn to live with it in a meaningful way.

Later in your grief, you might find yourself bogged down in some serious stress and anxiety. At that time, you might want to join in our very useful and informative Stress Management E-Course.  It’s free and very easy to join up.

About Crying

Understanding grief and loss…

Give yourself permission to cry, too. It’s nature’s stress relief. Let yourself cry wherever and whenever you feel the need. Every day if you want to. It really helps. You’ll feel lighter after a good cry. Who cares what people think?

Washington Irving said this about crying: “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief… and unspeakable love.”

It’s okay to laugh, too. It’s not disrespectful or inappropriate. It’s just your poor burdened psyche trying to cope and survive.

Creative Expression

Understanding grief and loss…

It’s helpful for you to express your grief by crying and talking about your feelings. But letting your emotions out in a tangible or creative way can be very soothing and satisfying, too.

There are several methods for creative grieving:

  • Writing- Write a poem about your lost angel. Start a “grief journal”, and write all about them. Write your loved one a letter apologizing or saying things left unsaid, or to say farewell. Create a memorial in  “Theirspace” , and tell the whole world about your lost loved one.
  • Music and poetry provide a poignant and soothing link to your soul that nothing else can. Explore our Music & Poetry section for a rich collection of songs and poems you may find comforting.
  • Artwork- Make a scrapbook celebrating your loved one’s life. Create a memory box for the family to cherish.

    Painting or sculpture can help release the tensions of grief in a special way.

  • Living memorials– Plan a special memorial to his or her memory. Plan an exquisite garden with a memorial bench or stones. Plant a memorial tree at your lost one’s place of work, with a bronze plaque. Plant a butterfly garden or seed a memorial foundation in his honor.

Choose Happiness

Understanding grief and loss…

After you have been through months of searing grief, you will come to a place where you crave a break from your bereavement. As we have stated many times in these pages, early grief should not be denied. You must experience the severe emotional impact on your psyche in order to get through it and realize a healthy end to grief.

But, there will come a time later in your bereavement that you realize you actually have some control over your own happiness. You will gradually start to become responsible for your own feelings, and realize you are no longer just a helpless victim of circumstances.

Practice every now and then to emerge from the heavy cloak of grief and find tiny bits of happiness in your day-to-day life. They are there, you just have to look for them…



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