A word on grief

Grief, I’ve learned, is really love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot give. The more you loved someone, the more you grieve. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes and in that part of your chest that gets empty and hollow feeling. The happiness of love turns to sadness when unspent. Grief is just love with no place to go. – Jamie Anderson

Experts who study the experience of grief agree that grief is not a simple linear process. Here are a few things they have learned about grief:

Grief is not a problem to solve. Grief is a normal human experience. It's neither good nor bad. You feel bad when grieving because you love the person you lost.

There is no right amount of time to grieve. You may be grieving for years after a loss. You may go through phases of grief, feeling more and feeling less. This is normal.

There are no correct emotions in grief. A grieving person will experience a range of emotions; all are valid. The emotions you experience in grief will be particular to you and how your grief is progressing.

Grief can be uncontrollable and overwhelming. There may not be any consistency or progression to your grieving journey. Some days might be easy, and others might be debilitating. This too is normal.

It is best to just focus on reducing suffering. Time, physical well-being, companionship, and community all help.

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The next section suggests some practices that make it easier to grieve and get support while grieving.

We strongly recommend starting with these practices before you begin to plan a memorial, as they will benefit you and the memorial itself.