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flame

illuminating grief

honoring the life of a loved one

flame

"A candle’s dancing light is a symbol of a living spirit. The flame burns to strengthen memories and the light of their life continues to shine."

Despite loss being a part of life, saying goodbye to a loved one is one of the hardest obstacles we face in life. With loss comes many different emotions and finding new routines in the absence of our loved one can be difficult. Loss is complicated and finding a way through our own grief can be a challenge. 

Due to social and cultural pressures, many of us are taught unhealthy ways to deal with loss growing up. This can include ignoring or avoiding our feelings, isolating ourselves from others, and comparing our grief to the loss of others. In order to find healing as we grieve, it is important we find healthy ways to express our grief.

Just as each loss is unique, each individual journey in finding healing and comfort is unique. 

While expressing and feeling grief, there are many healthy ways to process through our loss. Finding strategies that work for you is an important piece in finding solace and healing. Healthy grieving allows us to cherish and honor the memory of our loved one. Here are some ideas to help you get started in thinking about how to express and work through loss and grief.

Download our printable Grief Resources

We have compiled these tips and ideas into an easy guide. Enter your email address below to receive your printable PDF.

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Acknowledge your loss and the various emotions that come with it

Accepting the loss of our loved one is painful but an important piece in finding healing. While grieving, it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions including sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, fear and confusion. Part of the healing process is feeling our emotions rather than avoiding them. 

When we avoid our emotions they become stored in our body and present themselves physically. Over time, emotions we avoid turn into somatic (physical) problems such as headaches, digestion difficulties, changes in sleeping and eating, and fatigue. While many individuals experience somatic changes following loss, avoiding our loss can get us stuck in these changes. Acknowledging our loss is the first step for both our minds and our bodies to find solace.

Find concrete ways to express your feelings

Turning your feelings into actions helps our feelings feel more concrete and real. Examples of actions include: lighting your new Memory Flame candle, creating a photo album of your loved one, creating a memory garden, painting or writing, writing a letter to the one you lost, or finding a safe person to share memories with. Using creativity to express ourselves has long been shown to help support mental and emotional health.

Recognize difficult routines

While there are many aspects of loss that are difficult, going through daily routines without our loved one can be particularly excruciating. Recognizing these tough situations can help us seek out support we need in the moment. It’s ok if finding new routines is a challenge. Providing ourselves some grace and understanding in these moments is important.

Understand there are positives and negatives in every relationship

When a loved one passes, it is common to begin focusing on the positive aspects of the relationship. Often, we are taught culturally to ignore the negative aspects of the relationship with the one we lost. Despite this, taking a realistic view of the whole relationship is important to the grieving process. While not everyone experiences feelings of guilt, it is common to feel some guilt or regrets following loss. This does not mean we loved them any less. Just means that all beings and relationships are imperfect.

Seek out social support

While at times we may prefer to isolate, knowing we are not alone can help decrease feelings of loneliness. Many of us worry about being a burden to those around us when we are struggling. The reality is by sharing our loss with others, we also allow loved ones to join us in our grief. Spending time with loved ones can help us adjust to a new routine and life without the one we lost.

Practice self kindness

Extend the same compassion and understanding to yourself as you would a friend who is grieving. Practice patience with yourself and allow yourself to grieve in your own way. 

Many of us are much kinder to our loved ones than ourselves. You are worthy of kindness from others and yourself. Individuals who practice self kindness are more resilient than those who talk down to themselves. 

Try to avoid comparing your grief to others, no one wins in situations where we compare. Grieving is hard and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Download our printable Grief Resources

We have compiled these tips and ideas into an easy guide. Enter your email address below to receive your printable PDF.

* indicates required

While being able to remember our loved one is a process, sometimes healing is difficult to find on our own.

Contrary to popular belief, the passage of time does not guarantee healing. While time can help, putting forth effort and energy into the grieving process is also necessary to move forward.

Each loss is unique and it’s ok to have differing reactions to different losses in your life.

Despite our best efforts, sometimes relief is arduous to find on our own. If you are feeling stuck in your grief, are unable to complete daily activities, or are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self harm seeking out a licensed mental health professional can help. A licensed mental health professional can help you explore new strategies to continue to move forward with your grief and provide a safe space to share your experiences.

Humans are social beings and not designed to go through rainy days alone. All of us need the support of others at differing points in life.

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Candles have long been symbols of hope, guidance, and comfort.

Whether you recently said goodbye to your loved one or have been mourning their loss for some time, it is our hope your new Memory Flame candle brings you comfort as you remember your loved one. Just as each loss is unique, so is each celebration of their spirit and memory.

brea
These resources are brought to you by Brea Grueneich, MS, NCC, LPC, QMHP with Agape Counseling Center in Brandon, South Dakota.
brea
Grief resources brought to you by Brea Grueneich, MS, NCC, LPC, QMHP with Agape Counseling Center in Brandon, South Dakota.