Secrets to Getting Through Tough Times – Part 2: Understanding Grief

So what really is grief? Isn’t just lots of crying?


That is such a normal question to ask. Grief is the process of letting go of someone or something that was deeply important to you. Grief is very different for each person, and comes in waves of ever changing emotions. If you don’t know this you can think you are going crazy. These triggers of grief can come from the most unexpected places.

I shared in my last post, Grieve Well, how going to a workshop recently triggered a tidal wave of grief for me.

Understanding all the different aspects of grief is so important. There are many different emotions and experiences that happen.

Grief often goes through stages, but not always, or in this order

Shock and Denial

What? This can’t be happening; This isn’t happening


Pain and Guilt

Feeling the pain of the loss, and often blaming oneself for not preventing it (even if you had no ability to do so). Pain is emotional and can be physical as well.



With God and with whomever you hope can change the awful news (“Wait, I promise I’ll go to church every Sunday, I’ll be a better wife/husband/employee; I’ll eat healthier…”)



At the reality of what has happened…with God, others, and self.



Once reality has set in, incredible sadness regarding the loss (a person, health, job, marriage, relationship, finances, future you imagined, etc.)


Acceptance and Adjustment

As you accept the reality fully, the pain lessens and you are able to make realistic adjustments and plans to this new life without what or whom you lost.

This is quite a list to look at all at one time

It is important to know the basic stages of grief, and to realize everyone has their own way of grieving.

~ Some will be very demonstrative with emotions, others not

~ Some want to grieve alone, others want support

~ Some work out their grief in doing projects

~ Some journal, others do not

~ Some focus on logistics, taking care of business right away, and the emotions hit later

~ For some there is not a lot of grief, because they aren’t able to access their emotions, or because they weren’t emotionally connected to that person, or what was lost

Grief, and it’s way of being expressed is unique.

Don’t be in judgment of your own, or anyone else’s, way of grieving. Not allowing yourself to grieve will cause you to get stuck, which can lead to anxiety, depression, bitterness, and the loss never ending.

There are many great resources out there to help you through this difficult times. Here are some good ones that I know of:

  • Grieving the Losses of Life by Norm Wright – I love this book because he explains that grief comes in many difficult situations, not only death.
  • Helping People Through Grief by Delores Kuenning – I love this book because it helps you help others through grief.
  • I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One by Pamela Blair – This is so helpful talking about many difficult types of sudden loss, and giving practical help.
  • Confessions of a Grieving Christian by Zig Ziglar – Very real sharing of a father who lost his daughter…with hope for picking up the pieces again.

Questions to Ponder…

~ What stood out for you in this post?

~ Are you stuck in the grief process? If so what do you need right now?

~ Who came to mind as you read this post? Would it help to forward this to them?

Comments Please!!!
I’d love you to share any comments, questions, or additional helpful ideas below that you’d like to share with our developing community. Please forward via e-mail or social media to anyone who could benefit.

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3 thoughts on “Secrets to Getting Through Tough Times – Part 2: Understanding Grief

  1. Hey Kim. These posts are so helpful.
    Today, I am unable to answer this question:
    Are you stuck in the grief process? If so what do you need right now?
    I am grieving for son [43 Asperger’s, has doctorate] as he is content to lead a life dependent on drugs and not doing anything much with his doctorate, and I am grieving for the lack of HOPE for his future,
    What I am doing is journaling this journey and including every bit of help I receive from God as I know I am not alone in this journey with an addict.
    I keep releasing Him to God, saying: I can’t but you can.
    Maybe I just need to receive His PEACE.

    Love to you and prayers for you.xx Mary.

    1. Oh Mary…thank you so much for sharing. You do have so much to grieve. There is no guarantee that no matter how much we pray, parent, and love well that our children will choose wisely. You are absolutely not alone on this journey. I love your prayer to God, and journaling your journey. You are in the process, and He is right there with you. Sending you love and hugs…

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