Saturday, February 20, 2010

COPING WITH GRIEF-Surviving Loss-10 Suggestions (Part 2 of 3)

~published by Western Washington University/09.04.2009

3. Take Time To Make Decisions. People who have been very dependent on the deceased find themselves lost in the world. They are afraid to give themselves direction, to make mistakes, to ask, to try. Yet making mistakes is the way in which we learn and develop trust in ourselves. We need to be patient with ourselves as we gradually learn to make decisions.

4. Take Time To Share. The greatest need of the bereaved is to have someone to share their pain, their memories and their sadness. In life, we can only accept that which we can share. Bereaved people need others to give them time and space to grieve. When you are grieving, you might need someone who looks backward, because the past, not the future, remains the source of comfort in the early stages of grief. Sharing our memories and feelings with people who are grieving themselves is especially helpful and therapeutic.

5. Take Time To Believe. To survive is to find meaning in suffering. Suffering that has meaning to it is endurable. However, meaning doesn't just happen. At times, our grief can shake up our faith. For many people, religion-- with its rituals, the promise of an afterlife and its community support--offers a comforting and strengthening base in the lonely encounter with helplessness and hopelessness. Our faith does not take away our grief but helps us live with it.

6. Take Time To Forgive. The feeling of guilt and the need for forgiveness accompany many of our experiences, especially those that have remained unfinished. We might feel guilty about what we did or didn't do, about the clues we missed, about the things we said or failed to say. As we review our lives and our relationship with the deceased, there will always be things which are less than ideal. We need to accept our imperfections and make peace with ourselves.

We cannot judge our yesterdays with the knowledge of today. So torturing ourselves for the things we did and wished we hadn't done, or dwelling on the things we didn't do, doesn't change anything. It only makes us miserable. We certainly need to own and express our anger, but there is also a need for forgiveness.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, am sorry for your tragic loss. I recently lost my 20 year old son to suicide and my life is now divided into two parts: the before and the after. Like you, I'm writing a blog to help the healing process. Using a famous psychic medium, I ask Erik many questions about death, the afterlife, the purpose of life here on Earth and many other spiritual matters. He's been very insightful and his words are comforting. I'm hoping that those words also help others who have lost someone dear to them and anyone who fears death. Visit me at