When you lose someone you love, grief is inevitable. And as time passes, your grief may come in waves and reveal itself in layers—full of memories, longing, and regret.
We’d like to encourage you in the midst of your pain and sorrow to look for moments of hope. And, when you find them, hold tight.
After all, hope offers a path toward healing.
Let’s look at a few ways you might find hope when you’re hurting from loss.
Meet with a Counselor
While it may seem a bit on the nose—see a therapist if you’re sad—counseling is an important resource for healing that can be dismissed or overlooked. . Therapists are not only trained to help people who are moving through loss and grief, but they’re also passionate about their work and will work tirelessly to help you heal.
A good therapist will not only listen to your story – as well as memories of your loved one – but they will also help you find your way forward.
Our advisors here at Green Hills care deeply about your journey through grief. We offer grief groups to support you through this journey and would be happy to help you get involved in one. Give us a call today at 310-521-4468.
Consider The Big Picture
We know no amount of reframing will bring your loved one back to you. And we wouldn’t dare to pretend otherwise. Still, hope helps.
You might lean on your spiritual beliefs, if you have them, as you reflect on the grander goals of life and the afterlife. Not only to remember the peace that surrounds your friend or family member now but also to take comfort in the fact that you will be reunited again.
Even if you’re not religious, you may still benefit from a bigger-picture mindset. After all, we know sorrow because we know joy and we feel loss because we first felt love. Learning to accept and embrace the full experience of life—and all the emotions that come with it—takes work. But it is absolutely worthwhile.
Look for a Purpose Outside of Yourself
As you begin to find moments of reprieve —where grief seems to loosen its grip—you might consider focusing on others as a way of boosting your own internal happiness. Science shows us that helping someone else does something in our brain akin to what happens when we enjoy a delicious meal or finish an intense workout.
And Mahatma Gandhi said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
On your journey toward healing, you might volunteer in your community, spend more time with your children and grandchildren, or simply find a small purpose outside of yourself.
Go Your Own Way
Of course, there’s no right way to grieve.
To end, we’d like to share the story of Lucy Kalanithi, a widow and a mother. Her husband, Paul, passed away after a battle with lung cancer. She wrote about the experience a year later, sharing one way she created her own path toward hope and healing.
You can read an excerpt below:
“When my husband died from cancer last March at age 37, I was so grief-stricken I could barely sleep. One afternoon, I visited his grave and laid on top of it. I slept more soundly than I had in weeks . . .
As a child, I was always told that a grave should be stepped around, not onto and that only flowers should touch it. With Paul, the rules feel reversed. Just as it felt right to lie with him, finally restful on that spring afternoon a few weeks after his death, it feels right to bring friends there now, to watch the sunset and pour a drink to cheers to the life we had together. And it feels right for our bright-eyed 1-year-old daughter to crawl among the flowers I’ve placed on the grave. We are making this place ours, and his.”