As we move into a new year, the tendency might be to just get on with it and try to leave our grief behind. I am here to say, that you we can’t leave our grief behind. The healthy grieving way is to move forward with our grief. It will start to take up less space over time. Less brain and heart space, almost like it is in the background, but this takes time.

So give yourself permission – David Kessler says that acute grief can take up to two years. It’s okay to miss your person. It’s okay to continue to feel those waves of emotions roll over you. It’s okay to be exhausted, to need more rest. It’s okay to want to talk about your person and remember them. It’s okay to yearn.

And – it’s okay to take a break from grief. We can’t grieve all the time. It’s okay to find ways of participating in the world without your person. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, it’s okay to laugh, it’s okay to create new things, it’s okay to binge on Netflix.

Give yourself permission.

Give yourself permission to practice radical self-care as you move through your grief. Give yourself permission to reach out if you need to talk to someone. Give yourself permission to take a nap if you need to. Give yourself permission to accept help when it is offered. Give yourself permission to be discerning about who you share with. Some people just don’t have the capacity to listen. They try to fix you instead of holding space with you for your loss. Give yourself permission to recognize that sometimes grief isn’t just sad, sometimes it’s anger or frustration or helplessness or fear. Allow all of these emotions too. Care for yourself in all of this.

We tend to want to get on with it. The way to grieve is to move through it. There is less resistance this way; it takes an enormous amount of energy to resist something. Give yourself permission to move into the New Year with your grief and allow yourself to heal as you allow yourself to grieve.

Be Gentle,

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs