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Elements for Healthy Grieving

These elements of healthy grieving describe the journey of grief, and how to experience emotional pain in a healthy way. Each person’s journey through grief is unique. Measure your success at facing each one and determine what is needed to move forward.

  • Accept the reality of loss; prepare to experience emotional pain.
  • Feel the feelings normal with your loss; express and release emotional pain; celebrate happy memories; refuse to stuff your emotions.
  • Take care of yourself in every way along the journey – physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally and emotionally.
  • Adjust to the new reality created by the loss experience; relearn to live in the world.
  • Remember the good about who or what you have lost; you choose your points of focus.
  • Develop a new self-identity based on life after loss.
  • Relate your loss to a context of meaning; grief is a spiritual journey; a reexamination of core truths, values, passion, purpose, & goals.
  • Reinvest in life and go on living and loving after loss.

Based on the work of Alan Wolfelt and William J. Worden; edited by Karl J. Shackelford.