10 Recommendations For the Mourner

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59074_sepia_face_2Mourning is hard work. It isn’t always intuitive. In fact the best ways to care for yourself are typically anti-cultural – at least to many cultures in the United States.

Look at the below 10 suggestions. Following these will help you mourn well – or at least better.

  1. Don’t compare your loss with anyone else’s loss.
  2. Feel the emotions of grief as they come.
  3. Keep attending church.
  4. Keep trusting God even if you don’t understand all that’s going on.
  5. Tears are more than okay; they are necessary.
  6. Watch out for specific times when grief could be more intense, i.e. Third month; 6-9 months; one year anniversaries; Holidays; 18 months.
  7. Express your faith.
  8. Identify three people you can turn to anytime you need a friend.
  9. Explore all the truths from this loss.

Let me give more details for #9. You can explore the truths by talking and/or journaling feelings, thoughts, regrets, and memories (good and bad).

Another helpful idea is to create a loss history graph. See the books by Earl Hipp (pp 9-11) and James (pp 85-105; 113-114) for examples and complete instructions on how to do this. Completing a loss history graph helps you concretely identify each loss and its impact on you. Looking at this graph will help you find out how you typically deal with loss and if you are stuck in grieving one or more of these losses. Feeling the feelings and talking/journaling about these losses will drain the pain and lead toward recovery.

10.Keep communicating until you are done. This is not a race. 

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak
Whispers in an o’er fraught heart and bids it break.
Shakespeare

Talk About It.

  1. Which suggestions make sense? Why?
  2. Which ones don’t? Why not?
  3. Which recommendation(s) will you follow today?
  4. Complete a loss history graph. What did you find out about yourself? How do you deal with pain? Are you stuck in grieving a particular loss?

Works Cited

Hipp, Earl. Help for the Hard Times: Getting Through Loss. Center City: Hazelden, 1995.

James, John W and Russell Friedman. The Grief Recovery Handbook. New York: HarperPerennial, 1999.


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Entry filed under: Grief.

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