Articles About Grieving

Mustering the Courage to Mourn

Loss brings uninvited pain into our lives. In opening to the presence of the pain of your loss, in acknowledging the inevitability of the pain, in being willing to gently embrace the pain, you demonstrate the courage to honor the pain.

Helping Yourself Heal When Someone Loved Dies

You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing. You are beginning a journey that is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely.

Helping Yourself Heal When Your Spouse Dies

Few events in life are as painful as the death of your spouse. You may be uncertain you will survive this overwhelming loss. At times, you may be uncertain you even have the energy or desire to try to heal.

Helping Yourself Heal When Your Child Dies

Your child has died. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death of your child. It is an essential part of healing.

Helping Yourself Heal When a Baby Dies

Your baby has died. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death. It is an essential part of healing.

Helping Yourself Heal When Your Parent Dies

Your mother or father has died. Whether you had a good, bad or indifferent relationship with the parent who died, your feelings for him or her were probably quite strong. At bottom, most of us love our parents deeply. And they love us with the most unconditional love that imperfect human beings can summons.

Helping Yourself Heal When Someone You Care About Dies of a Drug Overdose

A friend or family member has died of a drug overdose. Death and grief are always hard, but when someone dies from drug use, understanding your feelings and knowing what to think and say about the death can be especially difficult. This article offers compassionate guidance for coping with your own grief as well as helping others affected by the loss.

Why Choose A Final Resting Place for Your Loved One

When a loved one dies, many important decisions must be made. How the person’s body will be cared for and where it will be placed are among these decisions. Especially if you have chosen cremation, this article will help your family understand the many benefits of choosing a final resting place for your loved one.

The Teeter-Totter of Resilience and Vulnerability in Grief

As you journey through your grief, you are probably being buoyed by—and perhaps also dismayed by—your natural resilience. After all, here you are. You may not have thought it possible at first, but you have indeed survived.

The Grief of Dementia Care Partners

If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, you are no doubt experiencing grief. Like the hundreds of millions of other dementia care partners across the world, you are in need of compassionate support and understanding.

You Must Make Friends with the Darkness Before You Can Enter the Light

One way in which we used to honor the need to make friends with the darkness of grief was to observe a period of mourning. During this time—whose length and detailed customs varied by era, religion, and culture as well as by each mourner’s specific relationship to the person who died—mourners essentially withdrew from society. When they did venture out into the community, they wore clothing that outwardly represented their internal reality.

Helping Yourself Heal When an Adult Sibling Dies

Your brother or sister has died. I am truly sorry for your loss.

Whether your sibling was younger or older, whether the death was sudden or anticipated, whether you were very close to your sibling throughout your lives or experienced periods of separation, you are now grieving.

Will I Befriend My Feelings Or Will I Deny, Repress, Or Inhibit Them?

Your feelings are the way you perceive yourself. They allow you to respond to the world around you and help you know you are alive. If you shut them down—if you deny, repress, or inhibit them—you risk being among the “living dead.” If you lose touch with your feelings, you have no true awareness of life.

Helping Yourself Heal During the Holiday Season

Holidays are often difficult for anyone who has experienced the death of someone loved. Rather than being times of family togetherness, sharing and thanksgiving, holidays can bring feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.

Embracing the Sadness of Grief

Sadness is a hallmark symptom of grief, which in turn is the consequence of losing something we care about. In this way you could say that sadness and love are inextricably linked.

When Your Soulmate Dies

Grief is everything we think and feel inside after someone or something we care about is taken away from us. Grief can be sadness. Grief can be anger. Grief can be shock and regret and confusion. Grief can be these and many other possible emotions and thoughts. When we are grieving, precisely which mixture of emotions and thoughts we have inside of us changes from moment to moment and day to day.

Finding the Right Words: Guidelines on how to talk to grieving children about death

Through the years I have learned a great deal from many grieving children and their families. They have taught me which words work best when talking to children about death. Here are some general concepts I suggest companions use when talking with children about death, dying, grief, and mourning.

​Helping Children with Funerals

One of the first opportunities for you and the child to express your grief is the funeral. This article will help you understand the importance of the funeral not only for you and other adult mourners, but for the children. It will also offer suggestions for guiding children through this important ritual in a healthy, life-affirming way.

Helping Children Cope With Grief

Adults grieve. So do children. As an adult or child, experiencing grief means to "feel," not just to "understand." Anyone old enough to love is old enough to grieve. Even before children are able to talk, they grieve when someone loved dies. And these feelings about the death become a part of their lives forever.

Helping Teenagers Cope with Grief

Each year thousands of teenagers experience the death of someone they love. When a parent, sibling, friend or relative dies, teens feel the overwhelming loss of a someone who helped shape their fragile self-identities. And these feelings about the death become a part of their lives forever.

Helping Infants and Toddlers Cope with Grief

Indeed, young children constitute a very special group of mourners. This article discusses some of their unique needs and will help you care for bereaved infants and toddlers up to age three.

The Misconception of the Funeral as a Rite of Closure

It’s a common misconception. When someone we love dies, the death indeed ends—forever—our experience of live, bodily presence with that person. The body is dead. It’s true—something essential is finished. It is over. A door has closed.

Helping Your Family When a Member is Dying

Learning that someone in your family is dying is a blow to everyone the news touches. We sometimes think this only happens in other families, but now it is happening to yours. If the onset of the illness was sudden or unexpected, you and the rest of your family will likely feel shock and numbness at first. This is a natural and necessary response to painful news.

Helping a Friend in Grief

A friend has experienced the death of someone loved. You want to help, but you are not sure how to go about it. This article will guide you in ways to turn your cares and concerns into positive actions.

Helping a Grieving Friend in the Workplace

Our support of a fellow employee can make a real difference in how he survives right now. Being present to a co-worker in grief means you are giving one of life's most precious gifts-yourself. Do not underestimate how your efforts to help can make a real difference for him. Your supportive presence, particularly when he is just returning to work and in the weeks and months ahead, can make an important difference in how your coworker heals.

Helping a Grandparent Who is Grieving

A child or young adult has died. Everyone who loved the child is now faced with mourning this tragic, untimely death. The child's parents are heartbroken. But what about the grandparents? How might they be feeling? How can you help them with their unique grief?

Helping Your Family Heal After Miscarriage

It is normal and natural to hurt deeply after a miscarriage. While others may imply or outright tell you that miscarriage happens too early on for you to be attached to the baby, or that miscarriage is so common it’s nothing to get upset about, or that you should focus on getting pregnant again instead of being sad about what happened, you know that miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy often feel like profound losses.

Helping a Suicide Survivor Heal

Because of the social stigma surrounding suicide, survivors feel the pain of the loss, yet may not know how, or where, or if, they should express it. Yet, the only way to heal is to mourn. Just like other bereaved persons grieving the loss of someone loved, suicide survivors need to talk, to cry, sometimes to scream, in order to heal.