Grief Tips for Those Who Mourn

The Following are some suggestions for people who are mourning the death of a loved one. Different kinds of losses call for different responses, so not all of these ideas will suit everyone. Likewise, no two people grieve alike—what works for one may not work for another. 

1. Talk regularly with a friend.
Talking regularly about what you think and feel is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It helps relieve some of the pressure you may feel, it gives you a sense of perspective, and it keeps you in touch with others.

2. Walk.
Go for walks outside every day if you can. Don’t overdo it, but walk briskly enough that it feels invigorating. Sometimes try walking slowly enough so you can look carefully at whatever you want to see. Observe what nature has to offer you, what it can teach you.

3. Carry or wear a linking object.
Carry something in your pocket or purse that reminds you of the one who died—a keepsake they gave you perhaps, or a small object they once carried or used, or a memento you have selected for this purpose. Whenever you want, reach for or gaze upon this object and remember what it signifies.

4. Visit the grave.
Not all people prefer to do this. But if it feels right to you, then do so. Don’t let others convince you this is a morbid thing to do. Spend whatever time feels right there. Stand or sit in the quietness and do what comes naturally: be silent or talk, breathe deeply or cry, recollect or pray.

5. Create a memory book.
Compile photographs that were taken through the years which document your loved one’s life. Arrange them into some sort of order so they tell a story. Add other elements if you want: diplomas, newspaper clippings, awards, honors, accomplishments. Reminisce as you do so.

6. Recall your dreams.
Your dreams often have important things to say about your feelings and about your relationship with the one who died. Your dreams may be scary or sad, especially early on. They may seem weird or crazy to you. You may find that your loved one appears in your dreams in various ways. Accept your dreams and see what you can learn from them.

7. Tell people what helps you and what doesn’t.
People around you may not understand what you need. So tell them. If hearing your loved one’s name spoken aloud by others feels good, say so. If you need more time alone, or assistance with chores you’re unable to do, or an occasional hug, be honest. People can’t read your mind, so you’ll have to speak it.

8. Write things down.
Most people who are grieving become more forgetful than usual. So help yourself remember what you want by keeping track of it on paper or with whatever system works best for you. This may include writing down things you want to preserve about the person who has died.

We Hope that you find these tips helpful.  If you or someone you know is struggling with the grieving process New Hope is here to provide support.  We offer books on grief & loss for adults and children.  We provide 8 week grief support groups for children, teens, young adults, and adults.  Our family camps are designed to support the entire family and allow them to grieve together.  To learn more or to register for one of our programs please call Alison Barnes at    (562) 429-0075 or e-mail her at alisonb@newhopegrief.org