- Understanding Grief
- People Grieve Differently
- The Brain Fog of Grief
- The Vocabulary of Grief
- Grievers Don’t Need to be Fixed
- Misconceptions About Grief
- There Are No Orderly and Predictable Stages In Grief
- When Caring People Say Dumb Things When You’re Grieving
- What to Say to Others When You’re Grieving
- The Impact of Who you Lost and How you Lost Them
- Heavy Grief Days
- The Grief Letter
- Ways to Remember Them
- Permissions for Grievers
- Creating Bright Spots in the Midst of Grief
- Why Are Many Grievers Not Comfortable Crying In Front of Others?
- Why Grievers Don’t Need to Be Strong
- Do I Just Need Time to Heal From Grief?
- Why Do Grieving People Get the Message They Shouldn’t Be Sad?
- Is Staying Busy Good for Grief?
- The Isolation of Grief
- Can You Fill the Void Left by the Death of Loved One?
- How Long Does the Pain of Grief Last?
- How Do You Get Over Grief?
- I Don’t Want to Forget My Loved One Who Died
- Relationships Change After Loss
- Why Don’t Friends and Family Understand Your Grief?
- How to Tell Others What You Need in Your Grief
- Grief Can Cause You to Re-evaluate Relationships
- I Lost My Spouse and My Friends
- All the Phases in the Grief Journey
- I’m Grieving and Just Barely Surviving
- Why Do I Feel Like I Am Just Existing in My Grief?
- When Will I Be Ready for Grief Counseling?
- Can You Heal Your Grief?
- Living Again After Losing a Loved One
- How Grief Affects Mental Health
- Grief & Depression
- How Trauma Affects Your Grief
- Co-Dependency and Grief
- Should I take medication for my grief?
- The Uniqueness of Grieving A Suicide
- Suicide Shock: I Can’t Believe They Did It
- Feeling Blame and Shame After a Suicide
- The Abandonment of Suicide
- The Stigma of Suicide
- Interview with widow who lost two husbands by suicide
- Losing Your Husband to Suicide
- What To Do With Your Loved One’s Belongings After They Die
- No Cost Financial Coaching & Planning for Widows: Chris Bentley
- Hope When Shattered By Grief
- Answers to Your Questions About Grief
- Is Being Angry at God a Sin After My Loved One Died?
- Where Did My Peace, Joy and Gratitude Go after I lost my loved one?
- Can Grief and Hope Co-Exist?
- Why Does God Heal Some People But Not Others?
- Is Suicide an Unforgivable Sin?
- Why Do I Dislike Platitudes and Bible Verses?
- Why Did God Let My Loved One Die?
- Surviving The Holidays
The Grief Journey
Foundations Of Grief
Misconceptions About Grief
Relationships After Loss
The Grief Journey
Grief & Mental Health
Grieving A Suicide
Conversations On Grief
Questions Grieving Christians Ask
Coping With The Holidays and Other Tough Special Days
The Grief Journey
Episode 1 : All the Phases in the Grief Journey
Introduction to the Grief Journey
This is an introduction to the concept of a grief journey as we look at the common phases even though everyone’s journey is personal and unique.
Healing through grief involves a personal journey. After guiding many individuals and families following the painful losses of loved ones, we know that those who grieve don’t need to be stuck in a state of mourning forever. Grievers have the opportunity to heal as they react, adjust, persevere and ultimately learn to live again. That’s the good news.
The not-so-good news is that your healing journey will not be a walk in the park. There are some realities to the grief journey that you need to know early on. While there are many resources – like this program – to help guide you, you will find that:
- There are no maps or GPS devices to direct your steps, so you may feel lost much of the time.
- The pain of loss will be your faithful and unwelcome companion – unfortunately, pain needs to come along for the ride, which sucks, we know.
- Schedules and timelines simply don’t apply to this journey – each journey is unique and has its own timetable.
- Personal discoveries along the way help you avoid walking in endless circles, and sometimes those discoveries take a while to find and understand.
- Life adjustments are required – life won’t be the same, and adjustments are the rule, not the exception
- Twists, turns and detours are guaranteed and backtracking is to be expected – this is not a linear sort of journey.
And, of course, there are no simple answers, no “get out of jail free” cards, no magic pills, and no one can take the journey in your place. We know this is tough news – but we also know from personal experience, this journey is worthwhile and you can finish it.
Let me end the “not-so-good” news with some better news. You don’t need to travel on your own. Along the way, you will encounter helpful traveling companions – and we encourage you to thoughtfully invite them to join you.
We wish to offer you encouragement, helpful tools, resources, instruction and our personal empathy. In fact, those are the reasons we have created this program.
Your journey doesn’t have to be complete misery. You will find an oasis, here and there, in the emotional deserts you cross. And with honest effort, willingness to lean into the pain and determination to overcome the difficulties that will arise, you will arrive, perhaps a bit battle-weary, to a place of real healing.
You will become stronger as you overcome the challenges before you – but, of course, you won’t grow stronger if you refuse the journey. And you have the freedom to refuse it! Folks say “no” to healing all the time. They refuse the journey by denying the need, avoiding or numbing their pain, and sometimes just pretending to be OK. Unfortunately, denying, avoiding, numbing and pretending simply postpone actual healing.
We want you to know that there are several phases within this journey. We have termed them:
- Surviving – just eking out our days, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute.
- Existing – returning to some basics of life, but not really living a full life
- Seeking – realizing that just existing is unsatisfactory and looking for a way to actually heal from your loss.
- Healing – making an informed and active approach to grieving with the goal of healing.
- Living Again – adjusting to the differences in your life created by the loss of your loved one – a life that is intentionally restored through self-examination, discovery and determination
We have developed a short video for each of these phases. We’ll drop into each phase with a bit more depth and detail. We will share experiences and revelations we’ve gained along the way. We’ll try to share this hope with you: that despite the overwhelming sense of the difficulty you may be feeling now, there is a more satisfying and meaningful life ahead for you. But you must intentionally and courageously seek it – when you are ready.
You may have already heard from us, or some other source, this phrase: “You don’t get over grief, but you can get through grief.” Healing from loss isn’t like healing from a head cold, recovering from a broken arm or recuperating from surgery. That type of healing often means returning to your life as you knew it before you became unwell.
Recovering through grief means accepting that life is now different. It can’t be the same because you have lost something irreplaceable. The person you lost will remain in your memories, and those memories are part of your essence and your soul.
The 5 phases of your grief journey (as we have introduced them to you) can only be described in broad terms. And that is because, by necessity, your grief journey is completely unique to you and the specific loved one you lost.
You will find that these phases overlap; they may seem endless and murky while you are in them, and the trek through them will require your attention, courage and effort. Neither we nor you can script or plot your journey in advance because you will be writing the story of your recovery as you experience it.
- Healing from loss requires that we go through a journey.
- The journey is individual and cannot be plotted or scripted in advance.
- There will be “phases” in your journey as you recover and heal.
- The journey will prepare you to truly live again.
- Living again will be experienced as a revised version of your life – a new chapter in your story.
When you are ready, begin to watch the individual videos on the phases of your grief journey – a trek that will lead you to healing and, eventually, living again.
The stories of our lives are written on the fly. Tomorrow cannot be written until tomorrow. Just like the weather, the circumstances of our lives are not within our control. But how we choose to respond to the circumstances of our life, allows us to author our personal life story. And the choice to superimpose our responses to what the world gives us moment by moment is called living.