Here are some resources that helped me in working with grief. I wanted to find a page like this when I started out on that journey. I hope it will be helpful to someone.
- Grief 101 – Some Common Facts and Characteristics of Grief – really good article that has a lot of information about grief and what to expect.
- Stages of Grief (or on Wikipedia)
You might go through some of these stages, maybe in different order, or in cycles – it’s not a linear progression.
- Denial – clinging to a false, preferable reality
- Anger – frustration, especially toward proximate individuals
- Bargaining – trying to avoid the cause of grief
- Depression – despair, being mournful
- Acceptance – embracing the inevitable, stable emotions
- Kindness – Naomi Shihab Nye
- The Guest House – Rumi
- Wild Geese – Mary Oliver
- Love Dogs – Rumi
- Last Night As I Was Sleeping – Antonio Machado
- Opening Our Hearts Transforming Our Losses – Al-Anon – great book that covers many types of grief, not just someone dying
- It’s OK That You’re Not OK – Megan Devine – really good book on early grief when the loss has just happened and everything is overwhelming. Takes the viewpoint that grief can’t be “fixed” or that you will “get better,” I found that to be very helpful. The book also contains instructions for friends and family about how to actually help someone experiencing grief.
- Shadow Dance – David Richo
- Dark Nights of the Soul – Thomas Moore
- The Wild Edge of Sorrow – Francis Weller
- Finding Meaning – the Sixth Stage of Grief – David Kessler – good if your grief is about someone who is dying or has died
- The Grief Recovery Handbook – John W.James, Russell Friedman – good information about the grief process, and an action plan and exercises for moving though grief.
- Moving On: Dump Your Relationship Baggage and Make Room for the Love of Your Life – Russell Friedman and John W. James – focused on grief from the loss of a romantic relationship. Has action plan and exercises for moving though grief, letting go, and becoming ready to have a new healthy relationship.
- self-compassion – Go as deep into self-kindness as you can. Feel your feelings, do kind things for yourself, it is ok to be less functional.
- prayer – Ask for help from assisting forces. You don’t have to pray to God – you can pray to your own Higher Power: the Universe, Life, Buddha Nature, or even a support group.
- meditation – Be with yourself and your emotions, listen to the Universe speaking to you.
- yoga – A gentle, mindfulness-based, body-centered way of healing.
- running – Running can be a spiritual practice. Moving your body and being with yourself helps you heal.
- journaling – Privately writing your emotions and thoughts to help pain move through you
- art – Not necessarily for others to see, but to work on the feelings
- spending time with friends – Be seen, heard, cared for, and comforted.
- My posts on grief
- Other resources
- The Wisdom of Dark Emotions – article in The Lion’s Roar
- Refuge In Grief – Megan Devine’s website on grief, for people grieving or people who know someone that is grieving.
- List of grief support organizations
Our society doesn’t make much space for grief. Grief is a natural part of life and takes time to heal from. You can take the time even if people around you may not relate. It’s ok to take care of yourself.
“Wanting things to be otherwise is the very essence of suffering.” – Stephen Levine