Grief and loss is a process—a journey that can continue for a lifetime. It’s not an event you will get over and be “back to normal” in no time. Do not let others persuade you to think differently.

When you lose a loved one, you will always and forever be grieving the loss. But you get to decide what that looks like and, believe it or not, the healing journey can be meaningful as you identify new priorities in your life.
grief and loss

The beauty of this experience is that you get to choose how you go through it. You cannot control losing those you love, but you can control how you deal with it.

Be patient with yourself as you find your way through. When the pain is so unbearable and unbelievable, you may wonder if you can go on, but you can, and will, go on with life.

The journey through grief is not a sprint—it’s a marathon. Pace yourself. Give yourself all the freedom you need to complete the journey.

We live in a world that doesn’t like pain.
We too might be tempted to turn from it, to keep the stiff upper lip.
But grief asks us to touch pain, to sit with pain and to ask it to tea.
Being with your sorrow is brave. It is counter culture courage.
~ Ashley Davis Bush
Talking About Death
It wasn’t always this way, but the 21st century culture promotes denial and avoidance of grief. Most people don’t like to talk about or think about sudden loss because they fear it. They don’t want to admit unexpected death will happen or that it is real. Western society likes to keep the thought of dying at a distance because most people don’t want to be reminded of their mortality. Our ancestors were more enlightened about death, privately and publicly. Past generations wore symbols of bereavement, used designated time periods for mourning, relied on nearby family and close-knit communities for support and experienced personal losses at young ages because of lower life expectancies. Death was part of everyday life, and families were familiar with societal rituals and practices to care for the bereaved. But today, people haven’t learned how to talk about dying or how to support the bereaved. Due to this lack of education and fear, you may not get the help you need.Well-intentioned, but misinformed friends and family may unknowingly share grief misconceptions, give misguided advice and encourage you to shorten your mourning experience. You may have unknowingly internalized the societal message that grieving should be done quietly, quickly and efficiently.

Imposing unrealistic expectations on how to grieve will deter your healing. Instead, allow all your responses and feelings, not just those you view as acceptable. Let new insights open your heart to authentic, natural healing.

By being aware of society’s lack of grief education and discomfort with death, you can be proactive and let others know it’s okay to talk about sudden death, dying and your loved one. You can guide conversations away from unhelpful information towards constructive, proactive grief education. You are the expert on your experience.

Take the initiative to start a conversation about your needs.

When a person is born, we rejoice,
and when they’re married, we jubilate,
but when they die, we pretend nothing happened.
~ Margaret Mead