What We Need During Grief

Courtesy of Center for Grief Care and Education at San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care 


You need time alone and time with others you trust, and who will listen when you need to talk. It takes months and years of time to feel and understand the feelings that go along with loss.

Rest, Relaxation, Exercise, Nourishment and Diversion

You may need extra amounts of things you needed before. Hot baths, afternoon naps, a trip, a “cause” to work for to help others . . . . any of these may give you a lift. Grief is an emotionally exhausting process. You need to replenish yourself. Follow what feels healing to you and that which connects you to the people and things you love.


Try to reduce or find help for financial or other stresses in your life. Allow yourself to be close to those you trust. Getting back into routine helps. You need to allow yourself to do things at your own pace.


You may find hope and comfort from those who have experienced a similar loss. Knowing which things helped them, and realizing that they have discovered that time does help, may give you hope that your grief will someday be less raw and painful.


Try to allow yourself to accept the expressions of caring from others, even though they may be uneasy and awkward. Helping a friend or a relative also suffering the same loss may bring a feeling of closeness with that person.


For a while, it will seem that much of life is without meaning. At times like these, small goals are helpful. Something to look forward to, like playing golf with a friend next week, a movie tomorrow night, a trip next month – helps you get through the immediate future. At first, don’t be surprised if your enjoyment for these things isn’t the same. This is normal. As time passes, you may need to work on some long-range goals to give some structure and direction to your life. You may need guidance or counseling for help with this.

Small Pleasures

Do not underestimate the healing effects of small pleasures. Sunsets, a walk in the woods, a favorite food - - all are small steps toward regaining your pleasures in life itself.