“Grief is hard; There’s no way through it without the hard. Give yourself and others the gift of grace when grief is present.” ~Lisa Merlo-Booth
As I ponder the recent deaths in the lives of so many close to me, I’m struck by the painful losses, so many people experience every day:
- Men, women, and children losing a loved one to suicide.
- Countless friends, family members, and loved ones are suddenly killed in car accidents, freak events, and inexplicable tragedies.
- The myriad of people lost to cancer, heart disease, COVID, and ongoing health issues.
- And on and on
To all of those grieving the loss of a loved one, my heart goes out to you. Grief is a funny thing—there’s no “right” way to grieve, there’s no definitive start and end, and each person feels the loss differently and to varying degrees. Give yourself the gift of grace as you go through your process. Don’t judge your process, get angry at others for their process, or feel ashamed if you have a hard time “moving on.” Grief is complicated, and the closer the person was who you lost, the more complex and long-lasting the grief. The grief, though, does change over time, and what seems insurmountable today will not seem nearly as impossible in the future. Hang in there.
Supporting loved ones in their grief is also difficult. Support them, don’t judge them. Give them a shoulder to lean on, check in with them when possible, and let them talk about whatever they need to talk about along the way. If your partner is grieving, do your best to show up for them. Too many marriages have suffered long-term due to one person feeling the need to carry the grief alone. Don’t leave your partner carrying such a heavy load by themselves.
Challenge: Countless people have lost their loved ones over the past couple of years due to COVID, illness, tragedy, etc. Give others the gift of grace. No one knows what others are going through, so practice compassion in all your interactions. When it comes to grief, give the gift of grace—to you and those around you.