A New Way to Do Grief

Try to think about the ways you have been taught how to grieve the loss of someone or something. When you were a child and someone in your family died, how did others react? Did you see outward expressions of grief? Did you talk about your feelings with others?

Or did you see the opposite: stuffing feelings down, not talking about emotions, and putting on a happy face to move on with life? Most of the time, it is usually the latter, which is not the healthiest way to grieve the loss of someone or something. The good news: there’s a new way to do grief.

After the death of his daughter, followed by the death of his wife a few years later, and then the death of his teenage son a few years after that, Tom Zuba wrote beautiful poems and put them in a book titled, “Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief.”

The Old Way of Grieving

Like most of us, in the beginning of his journey, Tom grieved the old way. He repressed his feelings, denied his emotions, felt numb, and stuffed down everything that arose within. He lived a life full of pain, although completely valid given his losses, until he began searching for a new way.

Once Tom gave himself permission to mourn and to feel all of his feelings related to his grief, he discovered a few things that we can all take with us on our grief journey:

  1. Grief is not the enemy; it can actually be one of our greatest teachers.
  2. Tell your story: write it down, talk to a counselor, find a validating support system, look for a creative outlet. Telling your story can help aid in your healing.
  3. You will always have a relationship with those you have lost. We call this is a continuing bond. Just as you will love them forever, your sadness will last forever, but so can your bond with them.

New Grief Allows All Feelings

Healing begins when you set the intention to heal. You don’t have to stuff down your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You don’t have to put on that brave face and ignore those pangs of grief when they arise. Try to honor all of the ways grief expresses itself, because you’re allowed to. You are allowed to feel everything and find a way to cope with your pain.

Grieving is natural and normal. When you feel yourself pushing your feelings down and ignoring your emotional needs, try to remember:  you’re allowed to feel your feelings because there is a new way to do grief.

Learn more about Nikki Scott at https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikole-scott-dsw-lmsw-cgp-00a980105/

Visit www.askforangela.com to check out a grief support calendar with a detailed listing of support groups.



Nikki Scott

Hi there! My name is Nikki Scott, I am a grief counselor at Angela Hospice in Livonia, Michigan, and I can say that I have truly found my passion. After caring for my elderly grandfather and watching him pass when I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to helping and supporting others. I received my bachelors in psychology from Wayne State University, my masters in social work from The University of Michigan, and my doctorate in social work from Capella University. I have been in hospice since 2012, and have worked in every role possible within the organization. Grief counseling, continuing education surrounding grief, death, and dying, and supporting others is truly my passion. Thank you for taking the time to read my literature!

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