Helpful Advice for the Grieving Person
No one else will grieve in exactly the same way you do. When you turn to
others for help, don't allow them to tell what you "should" or "should not" be feeling.
Talk about your grief . . .
Talking about your grief will help you heal. Seek out others who will allow you to talk as
much as you want, as often as you want, about your grief.
You will feel a multitude of emotions . . .
Confusion, disorientation, fears, guilt and relief are just a few of the emotions you might
feel. Others may try to tell you that feeling angry, or guilty, for example, is "wrong."
Don't take these judgmental responses to heart. Instead, find listeners who will accept your
feelings without condition.
Be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits . . .
Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you feeling fatigued. Respect what
your body and mind are telling you. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals. Don't push
yourself, and don't let others push you, into doing things you don't feel ready to do.
You will experience grief attacks . . .
Sometimes, out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This can be
frightening, but is normal and natural. Find someone who understands and will let you talk
Make use of ritual . . .
The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of someone loved. It helps provide
you with the support of caring people. More important, the funeral is a way for you to
mourn. Other rituals can be designed to help you structure the passage of milestones such as
anniversaries and holidays. Rituals are not unnecessary.
Embrace your spirituality . . .
If faith is a part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow
yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs. If you feel
angry with God, find someone to talk with who won't be critical of your feelings of hurt and
Search for meaning . . .
Ask, Why did he or she die? Why this way? Why now? Some of your questions may have
answers, but some may not. Comments like, "it was God's will" or "think of what you have to
be thankful for" are not helpful and you do not have to accept them.
Treasure your memories . . .
Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. You will
always remember. Instead of ignoring your memories, find others with whom you can share
Move toward your grief and heal . . .
Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be
patient and tolerant with yourself and avoid people who are impatient and intolerant with
you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of someone loved changes
your life forever.