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Dr. Kelly J. Brennan - Feeling Grief Means Being Alive: 7 Tips to Help One Year Later. By ELISHA GOLDSTEIN, PH.D.

Dec 11, 2013 -- 11:41am

Feeling Grief Means Being Alive: 7 Tips to Help One Year Later.


“Grief is a winding, nasty road that has no predictable course, and the best thing you can do as a friend is to show up for the ride.  You cannot rush grief.”  Angie Smith, mother who lost her son.

Here are 7 tips to help during this time:

  • If you are mourning for a recent loss (1 year or less) make sure to make time for feeling the emotions that arise, whether they are anger, sadness, or pain. There is no need to judge these emotions as good or bad and know that it is Ok to feel these and they will not last forever as all things come and go. You may even create a little ritual where you spend time with the picture or object connected to the person who has passed.



  • Friends sometimes get uncomfortable around grief and if they try and make you feel better in the moment, thank them for this, and let them know it is normal and natural to feel how you feel.


  • Make sure to also take care of yourself during this time, go out on a walk, make sure to eat healthy.


  • Try and open your eyes to the delights around you. It could be a smile on a child’s face or your own. Smelling a wonderful flower or maybe tasting your own favorite food. Even in the midst of grief we can be open to the wonders of life.


  • Know your limits and allow yourself to take a break from feeling when it’s becoming overwhelming, but make sure to let your grief know that you will come back. Make a time to revisit it otherwise it will occupy you all day.


  • Being altruistic can be a great way to move through grief. Maybe you would like to volunteer at a homeless shelter or make some things for those you care about.


  • Support has been known to be very helpful and so joining a grief or support group either online or in person can be enormously supportive.


In addition to these 7 tips for greiving one year later, more than anything treat yourself with love and kindness during this time. The grief will seem more acute during some times and more subtle during others. A year later, you’ll smile more and cry less, laugh more, and begin to feel better.  Though you miss the person you lost and long to be with them, may you know deeply, “this too shall pass and you will see them again one day.”

Researched and edited by Dr. Kelly Brennan for Terry Boyd’s World Radio Show on AM 860 KPAM - Portland, Oregon.  December 11, 2013.

Return to: Terry Boyd Blog

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