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Ways to March through Grief and Loss

Posted on March 09, 2015
As we start to welcome spring in the coming weeks, many find it to be a time of renewal or growth. While the flowers start to bloom and the trees begin to bud, you may not be feeling the same as you have in the past about the sprouting of spring if you have lost a significant person in your life. 

In Kenneth Mitchell’s and Herbert Anderson’s book “All Our Losses, All Our Griefs,” they define grief as “the normal, but bewildering cluster of ordinary human emotions arising in response to a significant loss, intensified and complicated by the relationship to the person or the object lost.” 

Clearly, the grieving process comes in all forms because each person is unique in how they deal with stressful and emotional situations, and the good news is that grief is manageable. Out of ideas on how to get through your day when the grief seems overpowering? Give the suggestions below a try, and you could see yourself onto the path of renewed purpose. 
  •  Give yourself time to grieve. Probably the most important step is making sure you don’t rush back into your normal routine if you aren’t quite ready. You may be tired physically as well as emotionally. Be patient with how much time it might take you to step through the fog—for some it doesn’t take as long. Try not to compare yourself to others who are healing as well, instead, just let the grief run its course. If you feel that you are past the point where you think it is unhealthy to be grieving, get an opinion from a health professional.
  • Watch your physical health. Mental health is every bit as important as your physical well-being. Having trouble sleeping? Add exercise to your daily routine, which is a natural sleep aid and it can improve your mood significantly. Make sure your diet is healthy—try minimizing caffeine and opt for water instead, make sure you skip the junk food as much as possible, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Connect with your spiritual side. You don’t necessarily need to be religious to connect with your spiritual self. If you are religious, or it is something you are considering exploring, prayer can be immensely helpful in the healing process. Or contact your local church and get involved with the parish. Maybe you are more in tune with nature, music, or meditation—whatever the case, connecting with that side could help with inner healing. Look up local classes in your area for something you might be interested in trying, such as a yoga class or maybe guitar lessons.
  • Continue to hope. At times, it may not seem like your life will ever return to “normal,” but there is hope that your life will turn around. Try focusing on the positives in your life—good intentions go a long way in healing process.

Of course, there are hundreds of ways that you can cope with grief—if nothing seems to be working or you are out of options, reach out to a friend, family member, or professional counselor who may be able to point you in the right direction.  

Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel seems a long way off, but it’s there. Grief is a burden to everyone, but don’t compare yourself to others going through similar situations. If you need help deciding if what you are feeling is normal, give your doctor or counselor a call—they can help you figure out the next steps.  

Give yourself time, and most importantly, give yourself grace to march through the things that seem impossible.

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