How Do I Know I Am Progressing Through My Grief?

How do I know I'm Progressing Through Grief_web pageThis is a very common question. We ask ourselves, “Are there ways to measure my healing?” There are some signs that your grief work is helping. We just need to recognize these signs and realize that we are working through our grief. The following are some signs that your grief work is helping you heal. See if you can identify with any of them.

Lessening of Pain

  • Experiencing a lessening of the frequency, intensity and duration of pain.
  • Recognizing that all that could have been done was.
  • Saying that your loved one is dead, not that “he left me” or “she is gone.”
  • Accepting that everyone grieves differently.
  • Being able to say the loved one’s name and relate the story of your loss.
  • Talking about your grief without being overwhelmed.
  • Using spiritual resources and/or religious practices to find meaning in the loss.
  • Nurturing yourself through spiritual resources or religious practices.

Ask For and Accept Help

  • Accept help and support when offered. Family and friends can make things easier.
  • Attend a grief support group.
  • Ask for help. Friends and family want to help, but often don’t know what to do.
  • You do not have to struggle alone. Express your feelings to family, friends, clergy or counselors.

Change in Focus

  • Living with the never-to-be answered questions.
  • Living in the present, knowing that things will never be as before.
  • Remembering the person who died realistically, not idealistically.
  • Maintaining good health habits through adequate nutrition, exercise and rest.
  • Seeking support from appropriate people (family, friends and professionals).
  • Taking action in your life by setting both short and long-term goals.
  • Visioning options and possibilities for a future without the deceased.
  • Encountering grief and pain in others without being overwhelmed by the pain of your loss.

Increased Enjoyment

  • Having the ability to feel good about feeling good.
  • Making time for fun and laughter.
  • Celebrating the good memories that will always be with you.
  • Reinvesting your energies in new projects, new choices, a renewed sense of life.

“Healing is not forcing the sun to shine, but letting go of that which blocks the light.” That is important in the grieving process. May these signs of healing continue to shine in your life, good days and not so good days.

Click to download and print How Do I Know I’m Progressing Through My Grief article.

Hospice of the Red River Valley has many resources available for the public, on a loan basis, through the resource libraries in each of our offices. Topics include caregiving, terminal illness, dying, death, grief and loss. To view more information about our grief support services, visit the grief support section of our website or call us at (800) 237-4629.