Grieving? How to Heal Yourself

One of life’s most difficult challenges is dealing with grief, the feeling of sadness over the loss of someone or something significant. Although grief is normal, the pain can be overwhelming, and the sorrow so profound that it defies description. You wonder if you can ever heal yourself.

The most common causes of grief are the death of a loved one, divorce or breakup, diagnosis of a grave illness, and loss of a job. You’ll experience a plethora of emotions, such as anger, despondency, guilt, anguish, and despair. The intensity and duration of grief differ in each situation. The death of a child can bring on excruciating pain that may diminish over time but never go away while an aging parent’s demise is expected, making the loss more acceptable…

Take your time and put major life decisions on hold.

The grieving process is fraught with emotions that can interfere with your rational decision-making mind. You might regret impulsive actions, such as moving to another place, getting married again too soon, or suing the boss who sacked you.

Learn about “The Road to Recovery” here

Facing Death

tears grief childBy Timothy Kelley (All Star Press / is thankful and honored to be allowed to re-print this blog posting)

The reality of death is a confrontational foe – or in some cases a friend – that never ceases to knock on the door of our human consciousness. Its looming presence is kept at bay for much of our life until we are given windows into the eternal while attending a funeral service or possibly when receiving an ominous doctor’s report. There is only one weapon we can use when coming face to face with mankind’s greatest enemy—faith.

Paul exhorted the church at Corinth to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) in relation to life in time and space as well as our eternal state. With the loss of a close loved one, sight and feelings are more often than not our dominant means of perception. We know how we are supposed to think, it’s just that our feelings and our thinking are out of sync.

Probably the most referred to chapter in the Bible on the subject of faith is found in Hebrews Chapter 11. The chapter starts like this:
(1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:1-3)

This chapter speaks much about death. These “heroes of faith” all died without the promise they looked forward to throughout their lives. The promise was Jesus Christ living in the hearts of the believer and His kingdom reign on earth. Faith is needed in death more than any other time in life – not for those who have died, but for us – those left behind. Those of us trying to make sense as we swim in the abyss of grief and loss. Let’s look at faith’s relationship with death.

The Road to Recovery by Rich Nilsen

Faith faces death squarely in the face. A famous quote says, “Where there is life there is hope.” We can say by faith, “Where there is death, there is hope.” The believer sees death for what it is – the passing of one life directly into the next. There is no cessation of life, simply a transformation of life. We understand that when we or our loved one passes, life does not cease; it transforms into a larger, far greater existence. Faith always sees a bigger picture in the death of one of God’s saints.

Faith takes death seriously. Though we are Christians, we are still human. God wired us to love and to grieve. Faith allows us to be humans; it is ok to experience and express grief. It does not reveal a lack of faith; it reveals just the opposite. It reveals one who is comfortable with who God has created them to be, and how he has created them to be. The person of faith embraces the fact that the loss of those close to us will forever alter the landscape of our lives. Yet, though the loss is great and the grief is real, God still has a plan and purpose for our life in the here and now. There is also an understanding that God’s plan on earth for the deceased has be fulfilled and completed also. The man or woman of faith knows that in the big picture of God’s eternal scheme, this loss has a purpose attached to it. Thus death, though not welcome, can be accepted.

“There is only one weapon we can use when coming face to face with mankind’s greatest enemy — faith.” – Timothy Kelley


Editor’s Note: Timothy Kelley is Pastor of Grace Connection Church in St. Petersburg, FL.   Pastor Kelley lost his beautiful 20-year-old daughter Hannah Grace Kelley last month in a freak accident that received national news coverage. She passed on Feb. 18, 2012. How does a man of true faith handle the worst of tragedies? Click the YouTube video link below to view the memorial service for Hannah. Scroll to the 18:24 mark to hear Pastor Kelley give his daughter’s eulogy – the hardest thing any father would have to do in their lifetime.

How Do You Survive After the Death of a Child


What to Say and Not Say to Someone Grieving a Suicide

It can be hard to know what to say to a person in the thicket of grief; when someone is grieving a loved one’s suicide, the right words — any words, even — can feel all the more elusive and fraught. Suicide can leave survivors racked with anger, […]

“Don’t place value judgments on the suicide, such as ‘It was a selfish choice, a sin, an act of weakness, or a lack of faith or love or strength,’” Ms. Posnien said.

Tracy Roberts, a writer who lost her sister to suicide, explored this in her essay “Suicide Etiquette”: “After Amy killed herself,” she writes, “someone said, by way of comforting me, ‘Suicide is the coward’s way out.’ Besides being an inane truism, this pronouncement indicted the sister I was mourning. How was that supposed to console?”

I’ve had people say similar things to me, and while I appreciate that their comments were coming from a good (and devastated) place, such judgments made me feel defensive and all the more anxious and bereft.

Grieving? A Twist on Social Media and Using It to Your Benefit

Social media taught me how to grieve on Mother’s Day

My mother was killed in a car accident when I was in middle school. For those of us who have lost our mother figures or have strained relationships with them, social media on Mother’s Day is a punch to the gut. Here’s how I now use the internet to […]

Pre-Instagram-era, Mother’s Day was just a day in May in which I would shut my door to the world, indulge in my saddest music and memories, and give myself a break for eating cookie dough directly from the roll. The next day was business as usual. But thanks to Instagram and Facebook, I’m now highly aware of how friends, colleagues—even influencers I’ve never met—are embracing the day.

Never one to be left out, I’ve devised a strategy of sorts over the years…

Grief Counselor Offers Support Tips to Deal with Tragedy

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) – Licensed professional counselor Paula Davis said she understands what it means to lose a child tragically.

“My daughter’s been deceased for 15 years and I still have moments where I don’t want to leave and I don’t want to do anything,” said Davis.

Neighbors living around the Laurel High School area are still trying to process the death of a 7-year-old boy to a tragic accident Monday night.

Cox said at the moment, charges will not be pressed due to the circumstances surrounding the incident. He descried it as a “tragic accident.”

Davis said based on her own personal experiences, she suggests people express their emotions when it comes to grieving.

“Cry as much as you need to cry,” said Davis. “You know, the more you cry, the less you’ll have to cry but go through the process. My daughter has been deceased for 15 years and I still have moments where I don’t want to leave and I don’t want to do anything. So, you process and you go on.”

“You go through ‘If I did anything wrong’ or ‘Was I the best parent?’” said Davis. “It’s common to go through those. It’s like the five stages of grief where you go through the denial part first. There’s the anger. Then there’s bargaining. Then you go through depression. Then, there’s acceptance…

Grieving? How to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One in a Healthy Way

Are you currently dealing with the death of a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a close friend, or another loved one? The pain that comes along with the loss of a loved one can be too much to take for some people. It can take weeks, months, and, in …

There are five stages of grief that people must go through after the loss of a loved one. Those stages are:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Some people can move through these five stages on their own. But if you’re having a tough time doing it, grief counseling can help.

In grief counseling, you’ll learn how to process certain feelings and come to terms with them. You’ll also uncover feelings that might be sitting right below the surface…

Examining fathers’ grief after miscarriage

Fathers’ grief after a miscarriage is often overlooked. A trio of doctoral counseling students in the William & Mary School of Education set out to rectify that, and published the results of their interviews with fathers in a 2018 issue of The Family Journal.

The team interviewed 11 married fathers who had experienced a miscarriage.

“I have found that much of the writing within counseling research and also within grief and loss literature focuses on women and mothers. As such, I wanted to fill in this gap,” said Nathaniel Wagner Ph.D. ’18, now an assistant professor of counseling at Indiana State University. “I have not personally experienced miscarriage, but many of my friends and family have. I see this as an area of disenfranchised grief for both of the parents and I want to bring a voice to this loss.”

Wagner and his coauthors, Victor Tuazon Ph.D. ’18 and Colin Vaughn ’13, M.Ed. ’15, Ph.D. ’19, identified several common themes in the fathers’ interviews. They concluded that several factors impacted fathers’ grief, including the meaning and expectations fathers had for fatherhood, whether they had observed movements such as heartbeats and whether the miscarriage occurred at home or in a more controlled medical setting.

Finally, the article identifies, through the fathers’ observations, ways in which people around them were helpful. The fathers appreciated written notes or spoken words from other people …

Robin Williams’ daughter helps Luke Perry’s daughter deal with online bullies

Luke Perry’s daughter is getting support from someone who knows exactly what she is going through. Earlier this month, Sophie Perry , 18, lashed out on Instagram at people who criticized the way she was mourning the death of her father . “So to those of you shaming me …

Earlier this month, Sophie Perry, 18, lashed out on Instagram at people who criticized the way she was mourning the death of her father.

“So to those of you shaming me for my language and my wardrobe and most disgustingly, my grieving process, do us both the favor and just unfollow,” she wrote, in part. “It’s a waste of both of our time.”

Robin Williams’ daughter, Zelda, jumped to her defense. Her father died by suicide in 2014.

“There will always be keyboard trolls waiting to tell you how to ‘properly’ publicly mourn to suit their impossibly silly standards, and while I will never understand their reasoning, know that however you decide to for you, that’s completely ok!” Williams commented.

“There are hundreds, THOUSANDS, more supportive people than there are a—- in this world thankfully, but I’ve been there, and that sudden, horrible spotlight at the worst moment of your life SUCKS HARD,” she continued. “Do what YOU need, when you need it, and take care of your heart first. And laugh, as loud and as often as you can. You’ve got this, and when you don’t, the people that love you have got you. Sending you and your family a big hug in this hard time.”

I was left a 30-year-old widower – here is how I survived

Dealing with Death of a Spouse at a Young Age

THERE WERE ONLY three weeks from cancer diagnosis to death.

When you’re 30, you never think something like this will happen to you. This isn’t how it’s meant to be. We had so many plans – things we wanted to do and places we wanted to see.

The thing is that you’re not just grieving the person you’ve lost, but also the future you thought you were going to have with them.

Honestly, it’s hard not to feel like I’ve been robbed. That Kathy was robbed. That our families were robbed.

There is no greater plan here. Giving a 29-year-old woman an aggressive form of cancer that she never had a chance to beat, never even had a chance to fight against, is just so cruel.

Initial bereavement

When I returned to our apartment for the first time, there was a weird sense of comfort, but it also felt utterly surreal. Everything as it was, but at the same time, never will be again.

I also wasn’t sure how I was ‘meant’ to feel. Although society seems to have this narrative around grieving and what to expect, I quickly learned there is no right or wrong way. Everyone handles grief differently…

Read the “Road to Recovery” by Rich Nilsen

How to Deal with Teenage Grief

So grief is like this:

There is a box with a ball in it and a pain button. In the beginning, the ball is huge. You can’t move the box without the ball hitting the pain button. It rattles around on its own in there and hits the button over and over. You can’t control it – it just keeps hurting.

Sometimes it seems unrelenting in the beginning because the ball is huge. You can’t move the box without the ball hitting the pain button. It rattles around on its own in there and hits the button over and over. You can’t control it – it just keeps hurting.

Over time, the ball gets smaller. It hits the button less and less but when it does, it hurts just as much. It’s better because you can function day to day easier. But, the downside is that the ball randomly hits that button when you least expect it.

For most people, the ball never really goes away. It might hit less and less and you have more time to recover between hits, unlike when the ball was giant. I thought this was the best description of grief I’ve heard in a long time.

I agree I think this is a good description. Often I have teens that I am working with in therapy who worry or are afraid because they think they are grieving wrong. I explain there is no right …