Ideas to Process Grief and Loss
- Collage – one side is what you’ve lost, the other side is what you’ve gained through that loss
- Make a list of gains and losses (if a collage is not your style) – one column of loss, one column of gain
- Memory box – photos, letters/emails, momentos of the loss
- Write a letter to yourself, God, and/or others expressing your feelings about the loss. Either burn it, save it for future time, or send it up in balloon.
- Watch DVDs of people experiencing loss and/or death.
Trip to Bountiful
Bridget to Terabithia
Tuesdays with Morrie
Terms of Endearment
- Make a list of people to have closure with before leaving – say goodbye well.
- Get a piece of “remembrance” jewelry.
- Plant a tree or bush in honor of the lost person or place.
- Memorial service for losses (not just for death)
- Take a trip in honor of the deceased
- Read books like:
A Grief Observed by: C.S. Lewis
A Grace Disguised by: Jerry L. Sittser
Tear Soup by: Pat Schwiebert and Chuck De Klyen
Encouraging quotations to process grief/loss:
“There is a good reason for entering fully into one’s sorrow. Once you have experienced the seriousness of your loss, you will be able to experience the wonder of being alive.” – Robert Veninga
“If you are unwilling to face the pain of the loss, it ultimately diminishes the capacity of your soul to grow bigger in response to pain.” – Gerald Sittser
“We are not given explanations, but to hearts open to receive it, a more precious revelation of the heart of our living God.” – Elisabeth Elliott
“The risk of further loss, therefore, poses a dilemma. The problem of choosing to love again is that the choice to love means living under the constant threat of further loss. But the problem of choosing not to love is that the choice to turn from love means imperiling the life of the soul, for the soul thrives in an environment of love. Soul-full people love, soul-less people do not. If people want their souls to grow through loss, whatever the loss is, they must eventually decide to love even more deeply than they did before. They must respond to the loss by embracing love with renewed energy and commitment.” – Gerald Sittser, “A Grace Disguised”
You can listen to Elisabeth’s talk on this topic HERE.
About the author
Dr. Elisabeth Suarez is the Director of Clinical Training - Counseling for Argosy University - Denver. She trains and supervises both masters and doctoral students in their field experience. Previously, she taught PhD students at Regent University and masters students at Denver Seminary. Her internship and first counseling job were with an organization that had a cross-cultural worker care division, where she was exposed to people heading overseas as well as returning for home assignment. Elisabeth has traveled overseas extensively and lived in Mexico for four months. Elisabeth appreciates the privilege of listening to the stories and experiences of the women the Father brings into her path. She is a licensed professional counselor, and a nationally certified counselor.View all articles by: Elisabeth Suarez
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