The Process of Grieving

The Process of Grieving

Counseling Hoboken; Mollie Busino, LCSW, Director of Mindful Power. Mollie has had extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, and Mindfulness. Her work focuses on Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, Career Changes, OCD, Relationship, Dating Challenges, Insomnia, & Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.

“Grief is just love with nowhere to go.” – Jamie Anderson

What It Feels Like To Grieve

When we lose someone we love, our world and the foundation we rest upon shatters into many little pieces. The mere thought of picking up all those pieces seems unbearable. At times, we may only have energy to look at the shattered pieces and that’s okay. It’s once we pick up the pieces, one at a time, treat them with tender care and compassion that we have capacity to pick up additional pieces. By nurturing our grief and giving it the space and compassion it deserves, we open the potential to pave a path of learning to live with it.

Here are some ways to help integrate grief into our lives:

  • Give yourself permission to grieve
  • Don’t place time limits on your grief
  • Allow yourself to experience and express your emotions without judgement
  • Create a Mourning Ritual *See next page for details*
  • Write a letter to your loved one
  • Find a grief support group
  • Volunteer
  • Meditate
  • Be in nature – hike, walk, run, kayak

Myth and Fact About Loss

A myth around losing someone is that our relationship dies when the person dies. The truth is we maintain relationships with the deceased. Elements of the relationship can be seen in old photographs; wearing a necklace or shirt left behind; listening to her favorite song; watching his favorite movie; reading their favorite book; cooking a favorite meal – just to name a few.

Rituals for Mourning

Grief has the ability to twist life upside down, to the left and to the right until we don’t recognize where we are anymore. Feeling in a state of chaos or feeling as if we are going crazy is all normal. When in this state, we crave consistency, structure and some sort of understanding. A way to create space that helps us work through grief and provides ways to mourn can come in the form of rituals. When set with intention, rituals can help provide the consistency, structure and understanding we yearn. A bonus that structure can provide is the creation and utilization of community by inviting others to attend and participate as well.

Here are some examples of rituals to help mourn, and honor our loved ones and our grief:

  • Light a candle each morning or each evening while honoring your beloved
  • Plant a tree or a bush and then tend to it
  • Attend a Grief Group
  • Eat your loved one’s favorite meal once a week, once a month, once a year
  • Organize an event honoring your loved one or participate in an event ex. 5k race, fundraiser
  • Watch your loved one’s favorite movie or show
  • Visit the burial site or spend time at a site where you feel most connected
  • Make a one-time donation or a yearly donation
  • Volunteer for a cause that has individual meaning
  • Incorporate spirituality – meditation, prayer, religious services

Book Recommendations

Grieving is Loving by Joanne Cacciatore, PhD

Healing Your Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas by Alan Wolfelt, PhD

A Long Goodbye: A Memoir by Megan O’Rourke

If you or someone you know is experiencing grief right now, we invite you to join our spring grief support group beginning April 7th. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.