Ideas For Healthy Grieving

First, there are no quick fixes for your grief. Navigating grief takes work. You have to be willing to get out of bed and do a few small things every day. Mostly, just do the next thing that has to be done and don’t overwhelm yourself with a large to do list. And ask for help if you need it. People want to help you and they don’t know how. Please ask.

And be aware of the brain fog that comes with grief. You are likely not working at full capacity and need to give yourself some time to adjust.

Stay in God’s Word. Even if you are angry. Open your Bible and read it. And let God speak to you. Pray for peace that passes understanding.

If you are angry, find healthy ways to let it out. Go for a walk (or run if you ran prior to your loss) and talk to God. I found it helpful to tell Him what I was feeling and how much I needed His help to deal with the dark place I was in.

Another thing I did was what I call “home-made” scream therapy. Yes, when nobody was home, I would yell out at God, asking Him why he didn’t intervene? Why didn’t he save my son? Why??? The one question that many of us wrestle with even years following a loss.

Join a grief support group. That saved my life. I went every week. I couldn’t wait to be with people who “got” me. Who knew what I was feeling. A safe place where I could share what was on my heart. And get some coping strategies for the week ahead. And if you’re not into a support group, see a counselor or find someone who has experienced a similar loss and ask them about their journey.

Journal. Even if you don’t like to write, buy a $3 blank notebook or type it out on your computer. If you can’t sleep at night, get out of bed and go sit in a chair and write out what you are feeling. It doesn’t have to be complete sentences or well thought out. Just get it out of your head so you can go back to sleep.

Count Backwards. Another tool I recommend is a book called “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins. (https://www.amazon.com/Second-Rule-Transform-Confidence-Everyday/dp/1682612384)  The basic premise is that you count backwards from 5,4,3,2,1 and tell yourself you are going back to sleepYou must do it the moment you wake up and not allow your brain to engage in any thoughts. This also works for anxiety and panic attacks. There’s actual scientific evidence to back this up in the book.

Read Books about Heaven and Grief. I think I have read them all. They reminded me that my son really is in a better place, even though I don’t like that phrase. Here is a link to our recommended reading list: https://www.firsthourgrief.org/education-resources/

Get out with friends. Don’t isolate. Go have coffee or breakfast with friends or family. Even if you cry a little while out with that person, it will be ok. Or meet them out at the park for a walk.

There is no deadline for grief. You’ll never be “over it” and you will find a way to live with it. And that doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten your loved one or should feel guilt in any way about moving forward with your life. They wouldn’t want us to be sad about them forever.

Feel the need to share? 

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*If you would like your story shared publicly on our blog, please omit, or replace names of person’s that have not consented to their name being used. With your permission and upon review, we will do what we can to share as many people’s stories as possible. 

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