When a loved one passes, the grief that follows is likely one of the most intense experiences you’ll have in your life.
Grief can take the form of any emotion from extreme anger to deep sadness—but no matter the feeling, dealing with grief in a healthy way is an important part of the healing process.
It’s a difficult truth that nearly everyone will undergo loss at some point. However, many people take comfort in the fact that grief is a universal part of life.
Understanding the lessons that can be learned during the grieving process is a valuable means of emotional support. While they will not erase the pain of a loss entirely, these lessons offer hope, solidarity and a reminder of our own inner strength.
Lesson 1: Dealing with grief teaches us perspective.
Imagine a bad day. Perhaps you’re stuck in traffic on the way to work or accidentally burn the dinner you were making for your family.
Dealing with grief allows us to put even our worst days into perspective.
It teaches us how to brush off situations that, in the grand scheme of life, are simply inconveniences. This lesson isn’t intended to minimize the difficulties that arise in day-to-day life, but rather to recognize when a minor struggle might be better met with a smile and a promise to start fresh tomorrow.
Lesson 2: Dealing with grief teaches us about the value of a moment.
Surviving family members often find themselves grieving by sharing joyful stories about the individual who has passed. As Dr. Seuss said in the famous quote, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”
Grief teaches us to value every second we have with those who mean the most to us—even in the hours that seem otherwise unremarkable.
Lesson 3: Dealing with grief teaches us how to rely on others.
When experiencing a loss, many people find themselves inundated with phone calls, food deliveries and other offers for assistance. While it is perfectly acceptable to respect your personal boundaries to avoid feeling overwhelmed in these situations, it’s also important to allow yourself to accept emotional support.
Grief teaches us to rely on the help of our friends and family, especially in difficult times.
Lesson 4: Dealing with grief teaches us to be vulnerable.
Dealing with grief is difficult and emotional but working through the process requires you to embrace discomfort. No matter how you label a feeling, it won’t last forever.
Grief teaches us to acknowledge the depth of our feelings. Attending counseling, reading grief support resources or talking with a trusted friend are all excellent strategies you can use to manage loss.
Lesson 5: Dealing with grief teaches us that it’s okay to move forward with our lives.
It’s not uncommon for people who have experienced a significant loss to feel a sense of guilt when eventually returning to day-to-day life.
While undergoing the grieving process is necessary, reaching the last stage is healthy. Grief teaches us that stepping into the next phase of our lives is important, although continuing to love and miss the individual you’ve lost is normal.
It may be difficult to see at the time, but a wonderful life is awaiting ahead—even on the other side of grief.
Subscribe to a Trusted Grief Support Resource
Dealing with grief is a difficult, unpredictable journey, but having the right support can make even the most challenging days just a bit easier. Our weekly grief support newsletter offers the encouragement, advice and information you need to heal. Subscribe to receive emails over the next year of your grief experience to your inbox.