When a loved one passes away, emotions can take you on a rollercoaster ride. That stomach-dropping ache can feel like it’s hanging on for days, weeks, months, and even years. Grief is an important, painful step, as you move through dealing with the loss of a loved one. There is no one formula for this type of sorrow because we are all unique, as is the relationship we have with the person we lost.

Thankfully, there are many websites to help overcome grief and work through these hard emotions. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lose one of my babies, but I’m glad there are organizations like the CJ Foundation that supports grieving families due to the tragedy of sudden unexpected infant and early childhood deaths. A google search of “Dealing with Grief” returned over 1.8million other resources.

But in all that research, there are definitely trends toward ways of initially understanding and dealing with your grief. Here are a few ways to work through the loss of a loved one:

  1. Talk with a trained professional. This could be a licensed psychiatrist, counselor, or priest or pastor of your church. They will be able to talk to you about your grief and direct you on the path to healing. If you are not comfortable going to these resources, confide in a good friend that will lend an empathetic ear. Sometimes talking things out is the best medicine.
  2. Create a tribute in some way. When my good friend passed away unexpectedly, I created a scrapbook of different events we had shared in our lives. I cried and laughed over pictures and mementos as I pieced the pages together. Somehow, my heart was pieced back together too and I was able to give this to her husband for her children to have a connection to her somehow in the future.
  3. Say “Goodbye” to your loved one. When my grandpa recently passed away, I needed closure. I was unable to attend the funeral but was able to go to the burial service in a nearby town. I needed to go. After everyone had left, I returned to the gravesite, sang a song to him, and got to say the word “Goodbye” out loud to him. I’m hoping in some way up in Heaven he heard me. And that hope has been such wonderful closure at his parting.

There are many other helpful and comforting tools on many different websites dealing with grief. Everyone has their own way to move through this hard part of life but I’m so thankful for the help that is out there.