Grief is an introspective journey from the darkness of loss to the light of renewal.

The caption below highlights some of the states of being and emotions a mourner may experience. I have the word RENEWAL in the largest size font because that is your goal – to reach for a renewal of your life and the ability to let love and joy into your heart once again.

Here are a few thoughts for you to ponder on this topic.

1. If you're “stuck” in overwhelming sadness, consider the following thought put forth by C. JoyBell C.: “There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human - in not HAVING TO BE just happy or just sad - in the nature of being able to be BOTH broken and whole, at the same time.”

Everything is dual in nature, and this allows you to better understand the world and your circumstances. For example, it’s a lot easier to see and appreciate the light, once you’ve known the dark.

Please know that happy and sad are two sides of the same coin. Consequently, today attempt to find something that will allow you to turn YOUR coin over and smile ... even if it is for just a fleeting second. Do this often enough and you can jumpstart happier feelings. You’ve been out of practice, so let your mind/body/soul “remember” what it feels like to smile and to have a little light shine into your life.


2. Carrie Jones in Captivate wrote that “losing people you love affects you. It is buried inside of you and becomes this big, deep hole of ache. It doesn’t magically go away, even when you stop officially mourning.” However, this doesn’t preclude you from moving forward to live a fulfilling life. If you have lost a spouse, this might even include a new partner.

It’s a natural phenomenon that when you lose anything or anyone precious to you, not just a spouse, they leave their mark on your heart and soul. That’s how you know they counted, they were special, they were loved. Don’t try to cover up that hole with material things, busy-ness, relationships with inappropriate people or even denial. Instead, pack that hole in your heart with wonderful and warm memories that can be yours forever and accessed upon demand.

3. Every moment of every day, you have the opportunity to rewrite your story. Will you decide to retell your story of brokenness, or will you choose to exchange it for a story of transformation?

This decision making process is a journey, and each of you are living different parts of your story that will eventually lead you to the intersection of two paths – one that leads to renewal and one that points to a cul-de-sac that keeps you stuck in a never ending circle reliving your loss. It will be up to you which way you will turn.

Here’s the question to ponder: Will you empower yourself and move forward OR will you empower your loss and get stuck?

It’s important to consistently put one foot in front of the other to move through your grief so that you are able to reach this intersection, which, in turn, provides the opportunity to have a choice on which way you will turn. That’s called being in charge of your grief vs. your grief being in charge of you.

You must harbor more than a hope and a dream that you will get there. You need to consciously decide that you WILL get there. You dont have to give yourself a finite time frame, just know that renewal is attainable for you. Its this change in perception that can make all the difference.

The preceding is a sample of the type of daily tips and thoughts on coping with grief that you can read in the author's newest book,Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey of Loss, as well as on her Facebook page by the same name.

Ellen Gerst is a grief and relationship coach and workshop leader. She is the author of several books on both topics, including: Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey of Loss; Suddenly Single: How To Move From Loss To Renewal; Understanding Grief From A to Z; How To Mourn: Help For Those Who Grieve and the Ones Who Support Them; and Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story. For a full roster of her books, visit her website bookstore, Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can also connect with Ellen on Facebook to receive tips on how to find love after loss.

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