Blog: Riding the Waves of Grief

On grief, resilience, and healing

Grief and Thanksgiving: Finding gratitude

How grateful are you this Thanksgiving season? For those with a recent, or even a long-ago loss, gratitude may not be the first thing that comes to mind. I often hear that Thanksgiving Day is everyone’s favorite: no gifts to worry about, no commercial hubbub, good comfort food, no 24-hour carols. Just a quiet, low-expectation day with people you love or at least like, if they are close enough by. If they are not, then we make do with a phone call or Skype visit. But what do we do if someone important is no longer with us? I’m not one for forced gratitude around the holiday table, as having to manufacture something feels false and isolating. But I am one for digging a bit to see what you can

The case against helplessness in grieving: Handle your grief instead of it handling you

If you listen to conventional wisdom about grieving – don’t make any decisions in the first year, march through a series of painful stages before you can be trusted, grieve like everybody else or you’re doing it wrong, hurry it up – you’ll conclude that you are helpless until grief is done with you. Of all the myths about grieving, this is the most damaging, as it robs you of the chance to make something unique and powerful of your grieving. That’s the single greatest myth about grieving – that we are helpless. Feeling helpless in the moment is one thing, a fleeting thing. Believing that you are helpless overall is just wrong. In fact, while your grief will be with you for some time, you can

One-Action-a-Day Grieving: Building strength as you grieve

We can probably agree that grieving is a bewildering process. Instead of getting up in the morning and jumping into your old routine, on some days it can be tough to come up with a reason to get out of bed at all. And where would the energy, and the focus, come from to power you through the day, anyway? Meanwhile, well-meaning people caution you not to make any big decisions while you are grieving, lest you make a mistake you’ll regret. The message, from inside as well at outside, seems to be: You are helpless, and untrustworthy, until the grief passes and you are yourself again. The problem is that you won’t be your old self again. With every day, you are becoming your new self, tested and

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© 2017 by Carolyn B. Healy. All rights reserved.

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