Living With Grief

Grief Is Part of Life

In the end, this is all really about people. People are the most important consideration. That includes you. As you embark on the challenging journey of serving as the personal representative of an estate, emotional self-care is an important foundation to build on.

In our society, we are not usually taught how to provide effective support for those who suffer a loss – including support for ourselves. Whether we are working through bereavement personally or standing with someone who is going through that process, learning more about grief and how to engage with it can be so powerful. At some point in time, we will all grieve, and someone will grieve for us. It’s part of what makes us human.

The Many Paths of Grief

Everyone’s story is unique to them. Many of us feel a devastating heartache because of the loss of a loved one. Some of us might withdraw from social contacts and find it difficult to concentrate or make decisions. Physical health might even suffer. Some people feel guilt because they honestly don’t feel sorry that someone is gone, or they feel pain because they wish they had been closer to that person. Some people experience relief that a loved one’s long suffering has ended – and, frankly, they themselves have been relieved of a heavy burden. Some people wish there had been more time for good-byes. The number of variations is endless.

Grief is not confined only to situations in which someone dies. Very real grieving can accompany a loss of health or mobility, loss of a home, loss of trust, loss of faith, loss of a relationship, loss of a pet, and any of a huge number of life changes.

Help For When We Grieve

Whether you personally have been bereaved, or whether you support someone who has been bereaved, or whether you’re in both roles, I hope you can find answers. There is so much scientific research available now on this topic. If you already belong to a spiritual tradition or feel drawn to find a faith community, I encourage you to follow through in seeking strength through this avenue. A successful grief journey is never about “just getting over it” as quickly as possible. You may want opportunities to express how you feel about a loved one, to tell stories, or share mementos.

I am acquainted with grief support resources in eastern metropolitan Dallas and would be happy to visit with you and help you find the help you need. Some resources are fee-based, while others are free. You should pursue what is best for you or your loved one.

Here are some examples:

Grief Support Groups

No one should grieve alone. While some people feel sorry for us, it is a very different thing to feel that someone actually understands what we are experiencing. Hopefully, you have someone in your life who can fill this role for you. Evaluate yourself honestly – could you benefit from something more? A grief support group allows people who are experiencing grief to connect with each other. The members give and receive strength through those connections.

If you would like to talk about grief support groups, I would be happy to tell you about groups I know.

Grief Coaches

A grief coach is a credentialed professional who, with empathy but sometimes also firmness, can help you make important decisions and move forward with tasks that are important to you. A grief coach can help you go past paralysis and take back your life.

If you would like to be introduced to a grief coach, please let me know.


A counselor is a professional with special training to help people navigate emotional and mental distress. Health insurance policies might contain provisions for meeting with a counselor. These meetings can be especially timely if someone is considering self-harm or in a serious downward spiral. By the way, for emergencies, did you know that dialing “988” on your phone will reach trained mental health professionals in the same way that dialing “911” facilitates other types of emergency response?

If you would like to find a counselor who has been personally recommended by past clients, please reach out to me.

Reading About Grief

Many books have been written about the grieving process. One book that found me at a particularly important time in my own life has the very generic name, The Grief Recovery Handbook. The tone is frank, down-to-earth, roll-up-your-sleeves, and do-something. The authors, John W. James and Russell Friedman, have founded an organization that has offerings in many languages. The organization also sponsors group and in-person assistance. The home page is here:


Here are other books you might enjoy.

Penny Armstrong Sparks, My Saturday Morning Posts

The author recounts very personal posts to social media that describe her journey after the sudden and unexpected passing of her husband. Ms. Sparks has connections to Rockwall County.

Martha Whitmore Hickman, Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief

For every day of the year, a short but thoughtful, inspirational message. We might not all have a lot of time to read a book, but purposefully seeking out these kinds of thoughts regularly can change the course of our thinking.

Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping, and Healing after the Sudden Death of a Loved One

A detailed tour of many experiences a griever might encounter on the path that follows loss. You might find a description of something you are going through yourself, and you might feel solidarity with people who happen to have different experiences.

Jan Warner, Grief Day by Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living with Loss

Organized in 52 weeks, daily insights about the grieving process that also encourage actions to reflect on your own journey.