The Good Fairy isn’t Coming and Recovering from Grief is Up to You

My mother had a saying and used it often: The good fairy isn’t coming. This saying applied to many aspects of life. She would say it before starting a task, such as cleaning the house or going to the grocery store. When my mother said the good fairy wasn’t coming she was implying — and showing — that I was responsible for myself. I learned this lesson in childhood and have lived it many times.

In 2007, after my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law all died, my mother’s saying came to mind. Coping with grief was up to me, not an imaginary good fairy. Instead of waiting to be rescued I would have to rescue myself. Sometimes I could almost hear my mother’s voice saying, “The good fairy isn’t coming and you’re in charge of recovering from multiple losses.”

Grief is exhausting. You may feel stuck right now, unable to move forward or backward in life, and worried about the future. Worse, you think you’ll never be happy again. As someone who has survived multiple losses and created a new life, I can tell you happiness is possible. How can you find happiness? These steps helped me and may help you.

1. Tell yourself, “I’m worthy of happiness.” I told myself this again and again. Repeating the sentence helped me to believe it. You really are worthy of happiness and this belief can change your outlook on life.

2. Ask for help. Multiple losses made me evaluate my support system. Where could I get help? You will need support and help in order to create a new life. If you haven’t checked your support system lately, now is the time to shore it up. You will find that many people are ready and willing to help you.

3. Practice self-care. At this challenging time of life it’s easy to eat on the run or rely on fast food. Nutritional, balanced meals are brain food and can improve your mood. Try to get enough sleep, at least seven hours a night. Meditation may also help you take care of yoursef.

4. Get a physical exam. Though you may not realize it, you may be run down or even anemic. If you haven’t had a physcal exam in months or years, get one now. Your physician will be able to give you tips about self-care and coping with grief.

5. Put your story in writing. Many grief experts ask the bereaved to write their story in a journal, poetry, or affirmations. Writing is therapeutic and the more you write the clearer your journey will become. You will identify problems and, more important, regular writing will lead you to solutions.

There is a moral to your grief story and it’s that you are in charge of you. Though you had no control over the plot, you can give your story a happending ending. Don’t waste time waiting for the good fairy to come and help you recover from grief. The good fairy is here and it’s YOU.

Harriet Hodgson

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Harriet Hodgson, BS, MA has been an independent journalist for more than 35+ years. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the MN Coalition for Death Education and Support. Hodgson writes for and has earned top status. A prolific author, she is the author of hundreds of articles and 31 books. All of her writing comes from experience and heer recent books focus on grief recovery: * Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss * The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul * 101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey: Words of Comfort, Words of Hope * Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life * Writing to Recover Journal (with 100 writing prompts) * Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, Lois Krahn, MD, co-author In 2007, after her daughter's death and former son-in-law's death, she became a GRG, grandparent raising grandchildren. Her latest book, Help! I'm Raising My Grandkids: Grandparents Adapting to Life's Surprise, came from this experience. In addition to writing books, Hodgson is a columnist for "Caregiving in America" magazine and Assistant Editor of ADEC Connects, the electronic newsletter of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. A popular speaker, Hodgson has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer's, hospice, and grief conferences. She has appeared on more than 160 talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations/programs, including CNN. Her work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors and other directories. She lives in Rochester, MN with her husband and twin grandchildren. Please visit for more information about this busy author and grandmother. Books by Harriet Hodgson The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul, available from Centering Corporation, and Amazon, 101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey: Words of Comfort, Words of Hope, available from Amazon, Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life, available from Centering Corporation, and Amazon, Writing to Recover Journal, available from Centering Corporation, and Amazon. Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, Lois Krahn, MD, Co-Author, available from Amazon,

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