Grief is an inevitable part of life. Philosophical musings about life and death probably don’t help much, and you may be finding that the support and comfort offered by family and friends isn’t helping you work through the pain you’re feeling.

So what can help?  First, it can help to develop an understanding of the grief process that most people in your situation experience. Even though every loss is unique, and each person irreplaceable, there are some common phases to the mourning process. If you understand these “stages” of grief, you’ll see that you aren’t alone in your confusion, turmoil, and pain – and that things improve as you progress through the stages.

The second thing that can help is tuning into to how you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing, and then expressing those emotions and thoughts. Most societies have mourning rituals (like sitting Shiva or holding wakes), so you probably had a support network to lean on right after your loss. But as time passes, friends and family get back to their own lives, and it can become hard to find someone with whom to share your feelings.

This is an excerpt from The Healing Journey Through Grief: Your Journal for Reflection and Recovery: Rich, Phil: 9780471295655: Books


Phil Rich

Phil Rich holds a master’s degree in social work and a doctorate in behavioral studies, and has been a licensed independent clinical social worker for almost 40 years. Phil is an experienced individual, group, and family therapist, and has supervised and trained multiple clinicians. He has been a program or clinical director of numerous treatment programs, including outpatient, inpatient, and residential treatment, and in addition has authored multiple books, chapters, and articles.

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