This page lists several ideas for how to deal with grief. Feel free to explore and find what works for you.
Grief affects different people in different ways.
Some people experience emotional ups and downs. Others are filled with anger or regret or guilt. Others feel pain in their bodies. There are a variety of grief symptoms. Most people feel less energy for life when they are grieving.
Our society is not well prepared for how to deal with grief. In fact in the first few days after a major loss the typical griever will hear a lot of unhelpful comments. We really don't know what to say to someone who is hurting.
We are accustomed to being strong and independent. We allow two to three days off from work for the employee who has had a death in the family. Then what? The worker is expected back in his or her place, ready for the next assignment.
Grief can knock the wind out of our sails.
Often we are encouraged to deny our true feelings in order to get things done efficiently and effectively. Many people are dealing with loss by trying to escape from painful feelings. We still have responsibilities as a parent, worker, son or daughter...The show must go on even though we wish the world would stop to acknowledge our loss.
There are a number of things you can learn about how to deal with grief to bring comfort and soothing as you experience your loss:
1. Identify the people in your life who care about you and would be willing to let you talk about your memories of your loved one.
2. Read a book like “The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses” by John W. James and Russell Friedman for suggested exercises to unburden your heart. Other books written by those who have experienced a loss similar to your own may be helpful.
3. Get a massage. Many people underestimate the emotional benefits that come from massage as tense muscles are often carrying the burden of unexpressed emotions. Find a trained massage therapist who will make you feel comfortable enough to cry if you need to.
4. Create a book of memories with pictures and journaling about precious times with your loved one. You may find it helpful to share the book with a trusted friend. Read my story of how a Creative Memories Consultant helped my family in the days after my step-mom died.
5. Journal each day about the feelings you are experiencing. Give your heart an opportunity to feel your feelings rather than suppress them. Click here to learn more about how to use journaling to deal with grief.
6. Use music to express your feelings. If you already know how to play an instrument experiment with making your own song that matches your mood. Even if you don't know how to play you can do this with a piano or other percussion instruments.
7. Use art to express your feelings. It is not about the product, but the process. Even if you don't know how to draw or paint, you can create images to match your mood using color and intensity. The process of simply doing art is healing. If you can tell someone about your images or process it can be an even greater tool for healing.
8. Grief Recovery can help you take important steps toward healing your broken heart. Many of us find ourselves alone and isolated in our grief. At such a vulnerable time it can be difficult to reach out and ask for the support we need from those around us. We don’t want to be a burden on them. If it would be helpful to you to talk to someone about your loss, use the form below to request information about Grief Recovery Workshops and Grief Recovery for Individuals. You'll also receive a complimentary subscription to our email newsletter.
We request your zip/postal code to make sure that if you are in the San Luis Obispo area you get our announcements about local events such as Grief Recovery Workshops and speaking engagements. We value your privacy and we will never share your email address or contact information.