We've been engaged in a bit of dialogue over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram about the things our readers would tell their younger selves about grief—either before they experienced the death of their loved one or just after. The advice our readers have to offer runs the gamut but echoes the collective wisdom we hear from people in the WYG community on a regular basis.
We wanted to extend this conversation beyond social media, so we've paraphrased it below. Some of the comments may resonate with you and some of may not. Please remember our question was (and) is:
What would YOU tell YOUR younger self about grief?
The answer to this question will depend on the person answering it, who they were when their loved one died, and who they are today. If you haven't already, we'd really love for you to add to the conversation and share what you would tell your younger self about grief if you could.
1. Yes, death and grief can happen to you.
3. You will learn a lot about yourself.
5. You will be surprised by the people who are there for you.
7. Seek support from people who understand grief and who want to understand you.
8. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
9. There is no timeframe for grief that is too long or too short.
10. There is no such thing as too sad or not sad enough.
11. Don't try to change or contain your grief because people pressure you to grieve the "right way."
12. Many people don't know what to say, but say something anyway.
14. Nothing - I wouldn't want my younger self to know anything about this terrible ache.
15. Grief bites!
16. Sometimes the mind cannot grasp what the heart is feeling.
17. You will question your life so much more.
18. You wouldn't believe how bad it feels.
19. It is the worst pain... but life has to go on.
20. The death of your loved one will knock you on your butt, so stay on your knees and trust God you can get through.
22. Love your family. Never take for granted that they will always be there.
23. Savor every moment.
24. Life never goes back to how it was before your loved one died.
26. You will miss the person for the rest of your life.
29. Whoever said "time heals" lied.
30. Although time doesn't actually heal, some days it can make the grief feel less raw.
31. Don't do things you aren't ready to do.
32. Grief can sneak up on you at times when you are feeling okay.
33. Take baby steps.
34. Try to get some sleep.
37. No one will ever completely understand how you feel.
43. Let people love you and love them back.
44. Make grief friends.
45. Talk about your loved one.
46. Communicate with those you love about how you feel.
47. Don't pretend you're okay when you're not.
51. You will experience joy again, but it will be different than before.
52. It's okay to laugh again and it's okay to love again.
53. Finding happiness is not a betrayal to your loved one.
54. As time goes on, you will grieve the things your loved one missed out on.
55. It's never too late for you to feel better or to heal from grief.
56. Find a way to make friends with the sadness. It isn't going anywhere.
57. Grieving is a normal part of life, so make sure you honor it.
58. It's possible to carry grief with you in a healthy way.
59. You will grow from this experience, but you'd trade it all to have your loved one back.
61. Hold on.
62. You can do this.
63. Subscribe to What's Your Grief.
What would YOU tell YOUR younger self about grief? Comment down below.
We wrote a book!
After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief
for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible,
What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.
You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books: