How to Grieve: 10 Steps to Healing, Peace and Joy

How to Grieve: 10 Steps to Healing, Peace and Joy

How to Grieve_ 10 Steps to Healing, Peace and Joy

 

Grief. It’s an individual and private thing. I’ve learned that when grieving for the loss of a person, everyone will act and react differently. When my parents died, my sister and I grieved differently. Even though we are sisters, our relationship with our parents was very different. Even though my parents were involved in my kids’ lives, their relationship with their grandparents were all unique. As such, so was their grief.
Although grief is individual, it’s not always easy and there are some things you can do to help heal and feel greater peace and joy. Here are my 10 steps to healing, peace and joy:

 

  1. Remember that every person feels differently. Don’t be worried if you find you are having a harder time healing than another, even over the same loss. This usually shows how close you and the loved one really were and what kind of relationship you had. Some people will not cry, while it may take others weeks or months to stop crying. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

2.  Be gentle with yourself. Stop the coulda, shoulda, woulda. Don’t let the “if-only” feelings take over. “If only I’d been  nicer.” “If only I’d made time to visit more often.” “If only I’d tried to do more.” You did the best you could at the time. Period. Don’t blame yourself.

 

  1. If you need to cry, cry. Let your emotions out. Feelings buried alive never, never, ever die. The more you can allow your feelings to rise to the surface and move through them, the closer you are to healing and peace. Remember that if you allow others to live in your head rent-free, you can’t BE free.

livinginyourheadrentfree

  1. Play with your pets or take time to pet them. Pets can tell when you’re sad, and research has shown that petting your cat, dog, etc.. helps stress levels for both you and your pet.

dog-165210_150

  1. Remember, you will heal in your own way on your own time. It isn’t a contest. Have the patience of Job.

 

  1. Music is a universal language and can be a very soothing way to cope when you’re feeling loss and pain. You can certainly listen to sad songs as a way to remember the person or relationship and FEEL. However, I recommend shifting to more positive songs to help you shift your energy.

 

  1. Journal or write. If you find yourself stuck after the loss of a loved one, consider writing them a letter. Include all your feelings towards their death – anger, sorrow, grief, regret. Writing down your feelings can be therapeutic. You may even want to burn the letter once you’ve written it as a ritual, per se. If you do this, imagine the smoke burning up all the negative, sad emotions and replacing them with peace, healing and joy.

 

 

  1. If you didn’t have an opportunity to share your feelings before your loved one died, know that you can still say what’s on your mind. Imagine saying “I love you” or “goodbye” and know that they can and do hear you. Forgive yourself for anything you think you did ‘wrong’.

toforgiveisthehighestmostbeautifulformoflove

 

  1. Do things you enjoy. Be sure to take time just for you. Watch a funny movie or do something that makes you smile.

 

  1. Love yourself. The more you love yourself and the more you are gentle with yourself, the more you create space for healing, love and light.

 

Our next monthly free coaching call is July 27th and we’re talking all about grief and forgiveness. Join us! Click here for your free spot.

TandyMonthlyCoachingCallsBanner

Save

Follow me

Tandy Elisala

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness
Tandy Elisala is passionate about bringing hope and wholehearted living to people going through cancer and their caregivers. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. She left her 23-year corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously for 2 ½ years. She now teaches what she learned on her journey and how to thrive during and after cancer using the true sources of health and healing: hope and mindset, spiritual connection, relationships, alignment and mind, body healing. Tandy is a multiple best-selling author, radio show host, mother of three grown kids and her precious dog, Roxy. Learn more about Tandy at www.tandyelisala.com.

Join our facebook community at http://www.facebook.com/groups/cancerthriversupportcommunity

©Copyright 2003-Present All rights reserved
Follow me
30 replies
  1. Stacey Myers
    Stacey Myers says:

    These are such great points! I really like the shoulda, coulda… It is really easy to think that we should be handling things in a certain way instead of just being with whatever it is that we are dealing with. As we know people deal with grief in different ways. And to go easy on ourselves.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      AMEN, Stacey! Self-compassion is SO very important. We MUST be gentle with ourselves when grieving. I’m glad the shoulda, coulda, woulda resonated with you.

      Reply
  2. Katarina Andersson
    Katarina Andersson says:

    Seems like some great tips dir grieving abd especially that each person is different and that others around you should respect that. Sometimes it seems like you should follow some official rules to be like everybody else…

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Thanks for your comments, Katarina. I think there can be some general guidelines (such as what I wrote about) but I think everyone’s experience with grief is different for everyone.

      Reply
  3. Carol Rundle
    Carol Rundle says:

    Although I had experienced the death of my father, grandparents, and other close relatives, as well as beloved pets, it was not until the death of my mother in 2012 that I really understood grief. I allowed myself to ride the waves of grief as they came and my husband supported me in listening to me when I needed to talk, and just holding me when I needed silence. I am now supporting a young (35) friend whose husband was killed in January. Even in “normal” conversations, she will tear up. She’s showing me (again) how grief takes its own form in each of us. Grief really is a normal part of life.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Carol, thanks for sharing your beautiful story. I was in the same boat as you. When my mother died in 2012, my reaction was, well, traumatic for everyone involved. The waves of grief were INTENSE. I had friends, my kids (who were also grieving) and sister (also grieving) to talk to. Grief is definitely a part of life and the more effectively we can move through our grief, the more joy and peace we’ll feel.

      Reply
  4. Holly Jean
    Holly Jean says:

    Tandy, Grief is such a tough topic. I believe each of us deal with things in our own ways. I liked your post and the ideas you share to help your readers get through these tough times!

    Reply
  5. Marie Leslie
    Marie Leslie says:

    What a lovely explanation of the grieving process. I especially like your focus on remembering that grief is individual and that we will all grieve on our own timetable and in our own way. I think this article is especially helpful not only for those going through the process, but for those who love and support them as well. Definitely sharing this one.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Awesome, Marie. I’m so glad this is helpful for you. I agree it contains good information for the grieving AND their loved ones supporting them. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  6. Robin
    Robin says:

    Great article! And great points about taking care of yourself. When I had a really bad year (both parents, husband down with back surgery, and boys under 5, I did not have / take time to grieve. And it made the process take longer. Wish I would have had your article back then.
    Robin recently posted…Fun Ways to Wear a Vintage BroochMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Robin, I’m sorry to hear about your bad year. That’s a lot to deal with. Not taking time to grieve definitely makes the process longer. When we don’t have time to heal, it manifests in some way for us physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Thanks for your comments and I certainly hope this article helps others.

      Reply
  7. Celea Star
    Celea Star says:

    I’m pleased you have spelled this out. Understanding that Kubler-Ross Five stages are not a measurement of loss/grief. I also believe our sense of loss/love is individual to each person. I especially like finding things that are enjoyable, fun even. Getting involved with life, experiencing the goodness that is all around us, appreciating what we have here and now is imperative to me.

    In my family, coming from Hungary, loss is celebrated for three days after the 6 hours weeping-mourning-wailing time has passed.We rent a big hall, have music, food, alcohol, and dancing. We talk about the good times, the fun times, the sad times, the times that drove us crazy. Most stay the whole time, napping where and when can. Some go home to clean up and come back to begin anew.
    As a child growing up, this was normal. When I later saw how others outside of our rather large community, handled death my concept was back then, that they were dishonoring their dead. What did I know? I thought everyone did the same thing. As I got older, I realized many things were done differently than how I was taught.
    Recognizing everything is a paradigm, a belief that we hold, having more options to be gentle with self is a good. Crises affects each according to what is known and for some unknown. Each one of us is affected by our thoughts of our own mortality when another makes the transition we refer to as death.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Celea, thanks so much for your heartfelt comments and sharing about how your family in Hungary managed loss and grief. I find it fascinating how different cultures and countries handle grief. There are so many beautiful ways to share loss and love. When my mom was actively dying, we played music, sang and told stories about what we appreciated about her. Thanks:-)

      Reply
  8. Lorii Abela
    Lorii Abela says:

    Death is inevitable and grief is a quite strong emotion. It can be debilitating but through time it can heal. However, what you have shared here will definitely give ease to the person experiencing it.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Thanks for your comments, Lorii. Grief is definitely a strong emotion and can hold on for dear life. I certainly hope this information helps those experiencing grief to help heal.

      Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Hi Alene, having a strong support system is critical. I’m glad it helped your friend knowing that grief is different for everyone. Sometimes, it can be difficult for friends and family to know what to say or do to help the grieving. Just being there and listening helps tremendously.

      Reply
  9. Sonya
    Sonya says:

    Great points! When my grandfather died, I just shut myself away, didn’t want to talk to anyone, nobody. It’s just how I dealt with it.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      I’m sorry about your grandfather, Sonya. Shutting yourself away from others is a common day to deal with grief. I hope you are at a point where you can think lovingly on his life and impact on you.

      Reply
  10. Geniece Brown
    Geniece Brown says:

    Hi Tandy,

    These are all wonderful tips and much needed. #8 speaks to me the most as I lost a first cousin earlier this year to suicide. Not too long before I heard the news, I had planned to take a trip to Atlanta to reconnect with her as I had not seen her in a few years. I felt like I totally missed out and maybe if I had connected with her earlier that what happened could have been prevented. Thank you for this heart-felt post.
    Geniece Brown recently posted…5 Steps for Better Marketing and Visibility on LinkedInMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      I’m so glad this spoke to you, Geniece. I think suicide is particularly difficult as we go back around and around and around about hints and signs that may have been there and how we could have prevented it. The truth is we DID do the best we could at the time. Sometimes, suicidal people don’t want others to realize what they are about to do. The fact is we are only responsible for our behavior.

      Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Lol about the images, Meghan! I agree with you about ‘moving forward’ versus ‘closure’. In the moving forward, we are evolving and growing and grieve differently at various stages.

      Reply
  11. Melanie Boylan
    Melanie Boylan says:

    Sensitively and beautifully written and extremely helpful. Making time for oneself is so hard these says as we allow people and apps to follow and track us. We all need to be reminded that we need to look after number one first at times. Great information Tandy x

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge