My Grief Care

Misconceptions About Grief

12 Episodes

Episode 8 : The Isolation of Grief


Episode Notes

The Isolation of Grief

It’s common for grievers to feel like they should grieve by themselves, leading to isolation. We think we shouldn’t burden others with our pain, or we don’t want to bring other people down – or we can feel like others don’t want to see our grief, or they just don’t get it, so they aren’t safe enough to share it with them. There are lots of reasons why we feel like we need to do this alone. Just think how happy people are when they think we are doing ok. That just reinforces the idea that we need to act fine and suffer our grief privately. 

Private moments with your grief are important, and for me, that was where I really let my pain and despair out – sobbing on the floor, making sounds I never imagined I could, slamming my body against the wall, saying it was just too much. Those were my private moments, and they are a healthy part of grieving.

But community and witness are essential for us, too, as they provide the comfort and validation we need. So how can we get this?

If you can even find just one person in your life that you can share your heart with, that would be wonderful. Tell them you just need them to companion you. They don’t need to fix it.  Ask them to be a listening ear. And if you have more than one person, that’s even better.  We need to be cautious about continually sharing our deep pain with friends or family members as we can overwhelm them, especially over time. So even though we may have that safe companion in a friend or family member, we, thankfully, have other ways for us to connect and feel supported that will be helpful too. We don’t have to go to one source.  

There are numerous options for grief support available. We just need to find the right one for you. It could be a Facebook grief page or an online or in-person support group. There are groups for all types of losses or ones specific to a kind of loss, like losing a child, a spouse, or someone to suicide. Being with people who can understand and relate to you can feel so good.  It was a safe place for me to be authentic.  They understood me in a way my friends, who were terrific, just couldn’t.

We have all sorts of resources listed in this program, so please check them out and see what might appeal to you, but I’d like to share some of my favorite ones that either I have experience with or my clients:

Griefshare has support groups all over the world.  They are faith-based, so this is not the group for you if that would bother you.  You can join at any time, and all you pay for is the workbook.  They also have a daily email of encouragement for 365 days, and you can sign up for that on their website.  Griefshare is for the loss of anyone in your life.

If you have lost a child or a sibling, my favorite organization is Compassionate Friends, and they have groups everywhere.

If you have lost a spouse, I love Soaring Spirits, which has online support groups and resources.  They even have groups specific for how you lost your spouse, like sudden death or cancer. They also have a fantastic event called Camp Widow held in multiple locations that I have had the privilege of speaking at. It’s a great organization.

Maybe none of these appeal to you now, but it may be down the line, so I just want you to know what’s available to you.  A few weeks after my husband died, I was in a support group, but many of my clients didn’t want something like that early on.  You will know when the right time for you will be – if it ever will be.

If you aren’t comfortable with friends, family, or a support group, maybe you could consider a counselor, and if they are grief trained, that would be even better because they will get it in a way other counselors may not. There is nothing wrong with seeing a counselor so that you can share your pain with someone safe.

KEY POINT: Though some of your grief moments will be and should be private, this is not a journey that was meant to be done alone, and having people to share your grief with is an essential part of the healing process.


  • Is there anyone in your life you can safely share your painful emotions with?
  • If not, what could you do to establish a connection – reach out to a friend or a counselor, join an in-person or online support group or community?
  • If you have no idea where to start looking for support, please check out our resource page.


Sharing your pain with someone does not make it disappear, but it can make it more bearable. Reaching out to others for help will keep you connected at a time when all you may want to do is hide or isolate.  Having connection, community and witness can help you heal and provide validation and comfort.  

You don’t have to do this alone!