Understanding Grief & Mourning

The Grief Journey

“Teach me about your grief and I will be with you.
As you teach me I will follow your lead,
and be an empathetic and soothing presence.” – Anonymous

The grief journey is one no one likes to be on – it is painful, lonely, and difficult. Knowing that grief is a normal response for losing someone we love may not be comforting in the moment. We hope this information will help you as you travel this journey.

Grief is the inward feelings of loss. Unless we are crying or showing other outward signs, others may not realize we are grieving. Outward actions and showing of emotions is mourning and is more easily understood to the outside world. Often others will mistake our lack of outward signs (mourning) as us being “strong” or “getting on with life.”  The grief journey has no end and is truly about finding what many call their “new normal.”

The Journey Through Grief
Mustering the Courage to Mourn

As I Grieve I Vow To:

Allow And Honor All My Feelings

  • Not to judge myself or my feelings
  • Not to utter or think any rules or “shoulds”

Listen To My Heart

  • To enter that still, sure place within where peace survives
  • To trust my inner voice

Treat Myself Like A Precious Child

  • To be gentle and compassionate toward myself
  • To be kind and forgiving toward myself
  • To reassure myself I am doing the best I can in this moment

Give Myself Whatever Time I Need to Grieve, Whenever I need it
Allow Myself The Relief From Isolation, Comparisons, and Judgment

  • Find support from someone who will be with me just as I am

Trust My Body to Know How to Grieve, and Then Let It
Allow Love To Flow To Me From My Community

  • From family who may not have understood me
  • From unexpected people who surround me
  • From a friend to sit with me, hold me, and comfort my mind/body/and soul

To Find Miracles In The Most Ordinary Of Things And Events Each Day

  • A sunrise, a hummingbird, the wet nose of a dog, a child pumping on a swing
  • I will see and even feel wonder and beauty in the world without the guilt or despair that I am enjoying it without my loved one

To Take One Deep Breath After Another, and Trust My Resilience and Ability to Be With All My Feelings
To Hold On to the Love, and Not Let Death End My Relationship With My Loved One