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Coping with Grief? Sink Into It.

We all have our ways of coping with grief.

Grief can be relentless, and loss overwhelming and isolating. You may never feel more alone than when you are grieving. But as powerless as you can feel, you may find strength in surrendering to what is versus what no longer is or will never be.

Honor Your Emotions

I suggest that you feel your grief. Sink into it. Honor your emotions. Just because you allow yourself to feel inconsolable doesn’t mean you will always be stuck in that bad place. Instead, being honest with yourself may allow you to become “unstuck” and move on.

If you have lost someone dear – a child, spouse, parent, relative, or close friend – it’s alright to allow yourself to mourn the loss of love, life, and experiences you will never have with them. If you, in turn, have an illness or medical condition that has compromised or forever changed your quality of life, mourn your lost abilities and opportunities.

Don’t Judge Your Grief or Rush It

Avoid chastising yourself with clichés like “I have to be strong and soldier on”, or “I must stay positive or I have to get on with my life.” Realize that others are—and have been—exactly where you are right now.

  • You can’t rush the grieving process; it takes time and all of us recover in our own way and in our own time.
  • Be patient and gentle with yourself.
  • Honor your grief and know that eventually you will move through it.

As You Grieve Take Care of Yourself

Being outdoors, eating healthy food, and getting exercise and plenty of rest will go a long way. You may find that some friends and family shrink from your pain and may seem to abandon you when you need them most. Usually it’s because they don’t know what to do or how to help. Others instinctively know how to love and uplift you.

Hold on and sink in.

Tell Us How You Express Your Feelings

Loss is part of life. Everyone feels it, but all of us may process our feelings in unique and different ways. CaringBridge and our readers would like to hear your thoughts and experiences.

About the Author:

Amy Levine is the author of "The Funeral Is Just the Beginning: Everything You Need to Do When a Loved One Dies", a practical guide for what to do and how to do it. Learn more at Last Chapter Concierge.

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2 Replies

  • By Dawn

    This is a powerful message for me. Having lost my mom just a couple of weeks ago, the pain is still so present and I have tried to figure out how long the grieving process takes. Then I realized that there is no set time. I had a few days where I felt like “Wow, I’m ok, I must be pretty strong”.. And then one day, a song or a picture brings it all back to the surface and I’m flooded by my emotions and the pain in my heart. I’ve learned that I have to let it out, instead of harboring the sadeness, like I’m so used to doing. I felt like, when Mom passed, I should just shut down her CaringBridge but I think I’ll use it for now, as a place to keep her memory alive and help me with my grief.

  • By Linda Barrington

    The way I have handle my loss is to keep the faith & stay busy. There is not one of us ever ready to say goodbye to our loved ones, but we know that this day awaits all of us. Jesus is what gets me through. I have a loving church family who I know lifts me up in prayer, but on the days when I’m feeling all alone I cry out to God. I’ll have myself a good cry & know that God loves me & has left me here for a reason hopefully to encourage someone who needs it & to let them know His word says He will never leave us or forsake us. I truly hope this helps someone today.