The Coping Corner – 10 Ways to Move through Grief

The following 10-Ways to Move through Grief provides ideas that can be useful while coping with life after loss
(adopted from Randall Oelerich)

1. Take time and space. Your soul needs time to heal. Give yourself space. Lessen expectations. Relax. By all means
don’t punish yourself if projects or goals do not get done.

2. Share. Find a close friend to share feelings with. Humans are meant to be social beings, but balance this with the
need for time and space to be alone.

3. Say good‐bye. Compose a good‐bye letter to the person you’ve lost. It’s a type of catharsis that helps the healing
process. But don’t push this. Do it only when it feels right.

4. Remember. Put together a memorabilia collection of your loved one with photos, gifts, letters, and cards. Show
this collection to others to help you share your feelings.

5. Cry. Let the tears out when you’re ready. You may be in shock and denial and may not even feel sad during the first
few moments, hours, or sometimes even days following a loss. When the emotions well up, let the waters flow.

6. Get out. Drive, walk, or ride a bike nowhere. Spend some time sipping tea or coffee at a coffee shop. Browse at
bookstores. Wander through a shopping mall or a park. Make friends with a duck at a nearby pond.

7. Get support. Consider getting to a grief support group.

8. Forgive. You may be thinking or saying, “I should’ve”or “I shouldn’t have”or I could have”or “If only”. Such
thoughts of omissions and commissions will only drive you nuts. Nobody is perfect, so forgive yourself and others.

9. Escape. Escapism can be healthy in moderate doses and comes in many forms. For example, a person who is
depressed sleeps more, which is the body’s survival mechanism. So escape! Watch movies, take up a new hobby, take
a nap, or take a trip.

10. Meditate. Meditation is therapeutic in whatever form works for you (prayer, chanting, sitting in the woods, or
strict transcendental meditation). Cognitive mood therapy, pioneered by David Burns, MD, has shown that you
cannot separate thought from brain chemistry. The two are inexorably linked. So thinking affects thinking. Your
thoughts change your brain chemistry.

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