What Do We Need During Grief?

Time
Time alone; and time with others whom you trust and who will listen when you need to talk. Months and years of time to feel and understand the feelings that go along with loss.

Rest, Relaxation, Exercise, Nourishment, Diversion
You may need extra amounts of things you needed before. Hot baths, afternoon naps, a trip, a “cause” to work for to help others - any of these may give you a lift. Grief is an exhausting process emotionally. You need to replenish yourself. Follow what feels healing to you and what connects you to the people and things you love.

Security
Try to reduce stress or find help for financial and other stresses in your life. Allow yourself to be close to those you trust. Getting back into a routine helps. You may need to replenish yourself to do things at your own pace.

Hope
You may find hope and comfort from those who have experienced a similar loss. Knowing some things that helped them, and realizing that they have recovered and time does help may give you hope that sometime in the future your grief will be less raw and painful.

Caring
Try to allow yourself to accept the expressions of caring from others. They may give you hope that sometime in the future your grief will be less raw and painful.

Goals
For a while, it will seem that much of life is without meaning. At times like these, small goals are helpful. Something to look forward to, like playing tennis with a friend next week, a movie tomorrow night, a trip next month helps you get through the time in the immediate future. Living one day at a time is the rule of thumb. At first, don’t be surprised if your enjoyment of these things is not the same. This is normal. As time passes you may need to work on some longer range goals to give some structure and direction to your life. You may need guidance or counseling to help with this.

Small Pleasures
Do not underestimate the healing effects of small pleasures when you are ready. Sunsets, a walk in the woods, a favorite food - all are small steps towards regaining your pleasure in life itself.