- Understanding Grief
- People Grieve Differently
- The Brain Fog of Grief
- The Vocabulary of Grief
- Grievers Don’t Need to be Fixed
- Misconceptions About Grief
- There Are No Orderly and Predictable Stages In Grief
- When Caring People Say Dumb Things When You’re Grieving
- What to Say to Others When You’re Grieving
- The Impact of Who you Lost and How you Lost Them
- Heavy Grief Days
- The Grief Letter
- Ways to Remember Them
- Permissions for Grievers
- Creating Bright Spots in the Midst of Grief
- Why Are Many Grievers Not Comfortable Crying In Front of Others?
- Why Grievers Don’t Need to Be Strong
- Do I Just Need Time to Heal From Grief?
- Why Do Grieving People Get the Message They Shouldn’t Be Sad?
- Is Staying Busy Good for Grief?
- The Isolation of Grief
- Can You Fill the Void Left by the Death of Loved One?
- How Long Does the Pain of Grief Last?
- How Do You Get Over Grief?
- I Don’t Want to Forget My Loved One Who Died
- Relationships Change After Loss
- Why Don’t Friends and Family Understand Your Grief?
- How to Tell Others What You Need in Your Grief
- Grief Can Cause You to Re-evaluate Relationships
- I Lost My Spouse and My Friends
- All the Phases in the Grief Journey
- I’m Grieving and Just Barely Surviving
- Why Do I Feel Like I Am Just Existing in My Grief?
- When Will I Be Ready for Grief Counseling?
- Can You Heal Your Grief?
- Living Again After Losing a Loved One
- How Grief Affects Mental Health
- Grief & Depression
- How Trauma Affects Your Grief
- Co-Dependency and Grief
- Should I take medication for my grief?
- The Uniqueness of Grieving A Suicide
- Suicide Shock: I Can’t Believe They Did It
- Feeling Blame and Shame After a Suicide
- The Abandonment of Suicide
- The Stigma of Suicide
- Interview with widow who lost two husbands by suicide
- Losing Your Husband to Suicide
- What To Do With Your Loved One’s Belongings After They Die
- No Cost Financial Coaching & Planning for Widows: Chris Bentley
- Hope When Shattered By Grief
- Answers to Your Questions About Grief
- Is Being Angry at God a Sin After My Loved One Died?
- Where Did My Peace, Joy and Gratitude Go after I lost my loved one?
- Can Grief and Hope Co-Exist?
- Why Does God Heal Some People But Not Others?
- Is Suicide an Unforgivable Sin?
- Why Do I Dislike Platitudes and Bible Verses?
- Why Did God Let My Loved One Die?
The Grief Journey
Foundations Of Grief
Misconceptions About Grief
Relationships After Loss
The Grief Journey
Grief & Mental Health
Grieving A Suicide
Conversations On Grief
Questions Grieving Christians Ask
The Grief Journey
Episode 5 : Can You Heal Your Grief?
The Grief Journey: Healing
“Can a person truly heal from the devastating loss of a loved one? Our answer, which may surprise you, is a definitive – yes!”
Something we have noticed far too often is the prevailing message that healing from loss is not really possible. Unfortunately, that message seems to say that the best you can hope for, after suffering a devastating loss, is feeling somewhat better over time by adjusting your expectations and accepting that you will be mourning forever. And that means living a less enjoyable, vibrant, and hopeful life.
Well that sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it? I remember feeling the same way when dealing with my own grief – grappling with the reality that my life would never be the same. I felt like life, as I knew it, was over. And the truth is, I was right.
But hold on. Just because the life I knew was over, did not mean that my life was over. It did not mean that my life could never be good again. It did not mean sadness would be my dominant state of mind forever. But it sure felt that way.
You probably feel similar right now. Do you believe that you can never really have an enjoyable, satisfying life again, as a result of losing a loved one?
If so, let me tell you that not only can people heal from a difficult loss – they do heal from them. But not everyone does. And the reason they don’t is that we aren’t naturally equipped to heal from such traumas.
As we consider the topic of healing from loss, let me share with you what healing from loss is and isn’t.
Healing from loss:
- Is not a natural process for us. Few of us would have ever been taught this. There is a lot of misinformation out there, like “time heals all wounds.” But I’ve never met a person who, prior to experiencing a big loss, knew what to do about it.
- Is not about forgetting or replacing your loved one. In fact, it is the opposite. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: You couldn’t forget your loved one if you tried.
- Will not dishonor your loved one. How can living a meaningful and enjoyable life in the future dishonor someone who has died? In fact, the opposite is more likely true. And yet, some of us really believe that to honor our loved one we must mourn indefinitely. Think of the people you love right now. If you suddenly died, would you want them to be miserable for the rest of their lives? Hopefully not!. So why then would such a standard be set for you?
- Is not easy, quick or painless. Healing will take time and will require you to acknowledge, name and process the emotional pain that naturally follows the loss of an important person in your life. Don’t worry if that sounds complicated, we’ll show you how to do it.
- Is not a superficial, sugary topping applied to an awful tasting chapter of life to cover up the pain. It’s not pretending you are okay. Your loss is real. The emotional pain you feel is real. Your mental, emotional and physical reaction to loss is natural and normal.
- Is not about creating a completely new life. Think of your life as a book you are writing. If you suffer a devasting loss in chapter 35, does that mean the book is over and the next chapter of your life will be the first chapter of a completely new book? Of course not. Right now, you are writing the next chapter in the same book. And the name of this chapter is “My Grief Journey After Losing My Loved One.”
- Does not mean never being sad again. Of course you will feel sad again. Such a time might be predictable (e.g., a birthday or an anniversary). And sometimes a cloud of sadness or melancholy may pass over you that seems to come out of nowhere. But you will be able to weather such times. And more importantly, your memories will become more and more focused on the pleasant, humorous, and cherished memories – with less and less pain from the loss accompanying the memories.
- Does require examining your loss and understanding it from a healthy perspective. Please note that this is a process that does not create new pain, but rather requires that you to thoroughly look at the painful emotions you are already feeling. So you will sometimes experience pain you couldn’t previously identify.
- Will properly help you to remember your loved one well.
- Will open you to, and prepare you for, writing the next chapter of your continuing life story.
- Means opening the door t living more fully again.
We have helped many people heal through their grief. While every grief journey is unique, as is every loss, there are important elements and requirements to experiencing healing. We are always learning about what helps and what doesn’t. We’ve applied this knowledge and formulated exercises that will help you heal, too.
When you are fully informed about grief and loss, and when you have experienced the phases of surviving, existing and have entered the seeking phase, you will be ready to move forward with an intentional healing process through your grief.
Perhaps you are almost there, or maybe you are in the early part of your journey. You’ll know when you are ready when your main motivation is not to escape the emotional pain of loss, but rather a desire to move toward living a more satisfying life again, and a willingness to bravely face and process the pain of your loss.
We’ll be there, walking alongside, when that time comes.
A brief preview of what you will experience during the healing phase of your grief journey includes:
- Understanding the nuances of grief and loss.
- Regaining a sense of what it means to be you, which we sometimes lose touch with during the time of “us.”
- Acknowledging and processing the pain you are feeling.
- Examining and taking in the whole of the relationship you had, including the best, the worst and the in-between.
- Creating closure with each element of your relationship.
- Readying yourself to begin writing the next chapter of your life, while continuing to honor and remember who you lost – who remains a big part of who you are.
- Despite what you might have heard to the contrary, healing from loss is definitely possible.
- Healing from loss will require your commitment and involvement, openness to guidance and, of course, allowing sufficient time to complete your journey.
- Healing from loss means honoring and remembering your loved one well.
- Healing from your loss means opening the door to not just feeling better, not just functioning better, but living more fully again.
Find a quiet calm setting to sit with your thoughts and ask yourself these questions:
- Where do I think I am in my grief journey right now? Do I relate to any of the first 3 stages (Surviving, Existing, Seeking)?
- Do I believe that healing from my loss is possible? Why or why not?
- When I think about healing, am I more focused on escaping my emotional pain or am I sensing that I am ready to move into a healing phase in order to live a more abundant life again?
“Without patience, you will never conquer endurance.”
Yiannis Kouros (ultramarathon runner)