There’s No “Right” Way to Grieve

Three ways to be gentle and honest with yourself about what you need to heal.

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The only rule, our grief experts say, is that there are no rules. You get to define your grief and your response to it. (You can curl into a ball. You can cloak yourself in black. You can go back to the office.) Beyond that, author and podcaster Kate Bowler suggests the following.

3 Mindful Ways to Work Through Grief

  1. Lean into what is meaningful for you. You may ask, as Bowler did, “Is there someplace of service or gift or job that gives me purpose and momentum right now?”
  2. See what is possible today. Gently recognize that, even with finite choices, there are, nonetheless, choices. In Bowler’s words: “Somewhere between the idea of nothing is possible and everything is possible, we are able to ask, ‘What is possible today? What is mine to do?’”
  3. Let go of the need to fix other people’s grief. “If you don’t think someone’s life is a problem to be solved or a tragedy to be fixed, you’ll feel less scared about being around them,” says Bowler. “They will take great comfort in knowing that they are not alone. It’s such a nice feeling when you’re allowed to pivot, when you’re allowed to move between laughing and crying.”

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Healing in the Deep Ocean of Grief 

Grief can hold our heads beneath the waves, but, as Bryan Welch writes, its tides can also open us to compassion for ourselves and others, showing us the value of a broken heart. Read More 

  • Bryan Welch
  • April 20, 2021