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One of the more common words I hear from people impacted by grief is the word regret. I’m told that they have many regrets. Some are for behaviors when their special person was still living. Some are for thoughts that they continue to have, despite knowing they couldn’t have done anything differently. Some are for words that were or weren’t spoken to their special person when they were still alive.

Regret hurts. It hurts emotionally. It hurts psychologically. Regret has been known to keep people from working through grief. …


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Setting boundaries when you’re grieving is hard to do. Your mind isn’t working the way it normally does (which is very common by the way) and life is so different now, that doing something you normally would do in the past, can feel quite overwhelming.

But setting boundaries will keep you safe. Especially when you’re as vulnerable as you are. Use the suggestions below as some ways to set clear boundaries with others when you are grieving.

State Your Needs

Again, your brain doesn’t work like it normally does when you’re grieving. So this suggestion isn’t about figuring out what your needs are…


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Some friends of mine recently lost a baby. The only way I know about this is from what they posted on Facebook. They were quite transparent and open about their loss and they shared pretty much all of it on their profile page.

As I read the post, I thought to myself how sad and painful their loss must be. I also thought why are they sharing something as personal and painful as this on Facebook?

I mean, it was a very intimate sharing. It was a story filled with details of a 72 hour time period. After reading it…


Their special person is gone and they told me what they miss the most about them.

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In the Grief Support groups I facilitate, one of the biggest pains for each participant is that they just miss their special person so much. There are other pains but this one is the easiest for group members to articulate. Their special person is gone and they are missed all the time.

Today I want to share some of the reflections and stories from group members who gave special permission for me to ‘voice’ what they miss most about their loved one. These sharings are from exercises we did throughout the group. We reflected on memories and shared stories about…


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What’s the opposite of grief? Some say it’s love in the here and now. Some say it’s joy. If you play with the impossible of being possible, it would be going backward and everything being the way it was before loss. But we know that can’t happen. Death is inevitable, no matter what humanity tries to do to prevent it.

Since no one can prevent death and the grief that goes along with it, what’s the next best thing? Most professionals and people in grief care would agree that the answer is to feel better, healed, or reconciled.

Healing grief…


Whether your loss is anticipated or completely unexpected, grief will take many shapes and forms. Here, I’m going to share some brief stories of how grief has changed the lives of some of the people I’ve supported.

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Some of these stories may sound familiar. Some may sound completely opposite of your experience. Whether they resonate or not, reading them can help conceptualize your own grief journey, providing insight and perspective for your healing process.

Hopefully, one or more of these stories is common to your experience. If so, it can help to ease loneliness. Loneliness is one of the things…


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There are times in life when you will lose someone so special and important that the pain will feel unbearable. Your world may feel like it ended. You may feel like there’s nothing to look forward to, or even, nothing to live for.

In essence, it may feel like there’s no hope. Additionally, the possibility of having any hope seems too far out of reach. The pain from your grief has ruined all hopes for any joy or happiness in your future.

Unfortunately, losing hope is a common experience. I claim it to be unfortunate because the pain is so…


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There comes a time when you realize that grief is now a part of your life. You know you’re sad. You know something’s off. You feel lonely. You also feel lots of other things.

You’re grieving but now what? What do you do with all this stuff going on inside of you?

Many people think they have to go through the stages of grief. They think they have to follow a path of first feeling shock or denial, then feeling angry, that they should bargain their feelings, get depressed, and then finally accept their loss.

Expecting yourself to naturally move…


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For many people consumed by grief, feeling joy and happiness may be the last thing you think is possible. But after many days of feeling the immense pain and suffering grief can cause, one begins to feel helpless and hopeless because the rest of the world has moved on. It can be easy to feel lost and lonely- only wishing for a moment of joy, and to feel like you’re not completely full of sadness all the time.

But the joy just doesn’t happen- and forcing it can feel awful, inauthentic, and fraudulent. So what can one do to feel…


Initially, many of the people I support through their grief journey have a desire to find strength through their grief. They feel so vulnerable and so distraught that they label themselves as “weak” or “a wreck.” They look for tools and techniques to help them maintain stability, groundedness, and have something to believe that they are “good” regardless of how painful their grief feels.

Man on the floor experiencing emotional pain.
Man on the floor experiencing emotional pain.
Photo by KirstenMarie on Unsplash

For some, this approach is a way of avoiding or resisting the painful feelings caused by grief. For some, finding strength is a distraction or a way of denying what their grief feels like. However, if…

Reid Peterson

Grief Support @ griefrefuge.com

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