“One of the things so astonishing and costly about losing a loved one is that, while the sun continues to rise and set, newspapers continue to be delivered, traffic lights still change from red to green and back again, our whole life is turned around, upside down. Is it any wonder we feel disoriented, confused? Yet the people we pass on the street are going about their business as though no one’s world has been shaken to the core, as though the earth has not opened and swallowed us up, dropped us into a world of insecurity and change. It is, as Emily Dickinson says, ‘a new road’ – for us as surely as for the one we have lost. It will take us time to learn to walk that road. Time, and a lot of help, so we don’t stumble and fall irretrievably. Those who have had their own experiences of loss will probably be our most helpful guides – knowing when to say the right word, when to be silent and walk beside us, when to reach out and take our hand. In time, we will be helpers for others.”

~ Martha Whitmore Hickman, from her book “Healing After Loss”

Once you’ve lost a loved one, especially after a long battle with an illness, you’ve entered new territory. Those of us who have gone before you are here to let you know that it’s going to be okay – you’re going make it through. You just have to give it time and be gentle with yourself. You’re probably exhausted to start with, and on top of that your mind is really fuzzy. You’re going to say and do things you may not understand and may have no memory of later, so go slow.  Take it one day at a time, and remember that each person deals with grief in their own way, in their own time. You can’t hurry grief, and you can’t deny it. So be alone when you feel like being alone, cry when the tears want to come, and do your best to take care of your body – it has to carry you through until your mind is well again.

Naturally, you want this pain to diminish – no one likes feeling this much hurt. You must heal and find a way to go on with your life, and that’s what your departed loved one would want for you. But you can’t just turn off the grief; you can bottle it up while you’re in public but you have to release it now and then. Sorrow will sit in your chest like a big water balloon. The only way to lessen the heaviness and pain is to let some of the water out. You need to cry. Crying doesn’t mean weakness, it means you really loved. It means there is a hole in your life now. If you died, and were able to visit earth again for a few days following your death, and everyone was laughing and getting on with their life, and no one shed a single tear for you, what would that tell you about the impact you had on others? Your tears are your way of acknowledging that your loved one mattered. There is no shame in tears, but a great shame to have passed through your life without leaving someone behind who cared enough to cry at the loss of you.

So don’t let your sorrow fester and mold inside of you – let it out. Eventually, the heaviness in your chest will be less;  you will cry a little less; the good memories will start to drift back in to take their rightful place next to the painful memories. The healing has begun. But it must happen in its own time, it can’t be rushed. And while you will heal, you will not forget. If someone in your life is telling you it’s time to “get over it”, just tell them, “I’ll never get over it, but I’m working to get past it. I’ve experienced a great loss and trauma – please be patient with me. I’ll get there in my own time.”

Some friends will be there for you, and some will seem like they’re avoiding you. We are so careful to tiptoe around death that when it occurs some of us just have no idea what to say; how to behave. Many of us have found that mentioning a loved one’s name in a social setting after they’ve died creates an awkward moment – people don’t know how to react and so, after an uncomfortable silence, they change the subject. These reactions are normal, it doesn’t mean they don’t care or are indifferent to what you’re going through. Don’t let it hurt you, and don’t erase your loved one from your conversations. It’s natural for us to continue to mention our loved ones – they are a big part of our history and who we are. And just because your loved one is no longer here, they are still present in your heart. Carry their memory inside of you like a little shining star. In time, I promise you, it will begin to glow and the pain of their loss will be replaced with gratitude that you were lucky enough to have had them in your life.



Safe Passage ~ Word to Help the Grieving by Molly Fumia

Healing After Loss ~ Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman


Losing someone or something you love is very painful. After a significant loss, you may experience all kinds of difficult and surprising emotions, such as shock, anger, and guilt.  Sometimes it may feel like the sadness will never let up. While these feelings can be frightening and overwhelming, they are normal reactions to loss. Accepting them as part of the grieving process and allowing yourself to feel what you feel is necessary for healing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve — but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain. You can get through it! Grief that is expressed and experienced has a potential for healing that eventually can strengthen and enrich life.

People cope with the loss of a loved one in different ways. Most people who experience grief will cope well. Others will have severe grief and may need treatment. There are many things that can affect the grief process of someone who has lost a loved one to cancer.

When a death takes place, you may experience a wide range of emotions, even when the death is expected. Many people report feeling an initial stage of numbness after first learning of a death, but there is no real order to the grieving process.

So the unthinkable has happened to you! A special loved one has been torn from your life by tragedy, and you are heartbroken. I am so very sorry for your loss, and wish to extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Welcome, my friend, to our grief loss recovery website. You have come to the right place for straight answers, practical advice… and hope.

By Grace Noll Crowell

Let me come in where you are weeping, friend,
And let me take your hand.
I, who have known a sorrow such as yours,
Can understand.

Let me come in — I would be very still
Beside you in your grief;
I would not bid you cease your weeping, friend,
Tears can bring relief.

Let me come in — I would only breathe a prayer,
And hold your hand,
For I have known a sorrow such as yours,
And understand.


By Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918), Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.


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