When you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, it’s very natural and easy to get trapped in your memories of the past and how things used to be. Let’s take a moment to examine your past, as well as the present and the future, and how this exercise can help you to better understand the grief process.

If you will, imagine your past, present and future like three pieces of paper all tied together with a string running through the middle of each. If you were to pick up one end of the string and dangle it in the air, the papers would not fly away for they are inextricably connected – one leading to the next.

Although they each have an impact on the other, Marcel Pagnol states, “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is and the future less resolved than it will be.”

When you remember the PAST, it’s easy to block out the negatives and recall only a rosy picture. Although, it’s great to remember your past glowingly, try not to romanticize it so much that the present pales in comparison to it.

In the PRESENT, with so much to do and so little time, it’s very easy to get caught up in the minutia of your life. You can become vulnerable to a sense of being overwhelmed, or you may not be able to see the forest for the trees.

Keep in mind that you will encounter ups and down in every era of your life. At times, it’s important to step back and put current difficulties in perspective so you can figure out the best way to move through them.

And then there is the FUTURE. If you’re always worrying about the future – and this leads to chronic indecision and subsequent procrastination – you can freeze in place and end up avoiding any forward moving action. This, in turn, can lead to more worry.

In essence, you’ve created a vicious circle that is of no benefit to you. So, although procrastination has its place (for example, when you pause to digest new lessons before tackling your next obstacle), you also have to learn to temper it and find the right balance between it and total inaction.

While it’s a very good idea to always keep an “eye” on the future and move forward towards your goals, it’s equally important to live in and enjoy the present moment before it speeds by – never to be recaptured again.

While still mourning your loved one, make sure to also cherish all the small moments of joy you can find with the family and friends who still surround you. As you have learned through your loss, the only time that is promised to you and them is now.

Ellen Gerst is a grief and relationship coach and author. For more coping with grief tips, join her on Pinterest and Facebook. View her roster of her books on coping with grief by clicking here.

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Ellen Gerst

Ellen Gerst is a Life Coach who specializes in grief and relationships, an author, and speaker. Widowed young at the age of 39, she writes from a “been there/done that” perspective. Losing her husband to suicide after 20 years of marriage set her on a path to finding her true self and the inner strength she possessed. She shares both her journey and her perspective on how to move gracefully and successfully through the grief journey. She is the author of “Suddenly Single," which is a compendium of articles covering the practical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the grief journey. She went on to capture the continuation of her story in the sequel to "Suddenly Single," aptly named: “Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story.” “Love After Loss” is a blueprint on how one can find new love after the loss of a partner from death, divorce, or break-up. It includes coaching exercises; how to Internet date; and how to have a healthy and successful relationship – all intertwined with true life dating tips and stories. Ellen has penned many other books on coping with grief, as well as others on such subjects as dating and relationships, caregiving for aging parents, spirituality, confidence building, the power of positive thought, suicide awareness, teen pregnancy prevention, fitness and weight loss, and social media and networking. She is also the co-editor of an anthology of real life changing stories, “Thin Threads of Grief & Renewal.” The stories tell of untold grief and how each author found personal renewal after his/her great loss. It is an inspirational volume for those mourning any sort of loss. To listen to Ellen's radio show: Click Here Visit Ellen on her website at http://www.LNGerst.com where she has various free downloads on coping with grief and finding love after loss. Join Ellen on Facebook for every day tips on finding love after loss and coping with grief. Finding Love After Loss http://bit.ly/cxipZ0 Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey Of Loss http://www.facebook.com/WordsOfComfortToPaveYourJourneyOfLoss

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