Dealing with grief – or living through it – is not something that we generally prepare for in advance, but, since it is inevitable that we’ll all suffer loss during our lives, a little mental preparation can ease the pain during difficult times.

I speak from having lived through the grieving process several times, as well as from my professional understanding and experience as a therapist.

We all experience grief in our own way. Some build shrines, some make monuments. Some try to recreate the past, others will fashion new beginnings. Each of these has its place, but they can become distractions.

While grieving can produce wistfulness, nostalgia and regret, it should not be confused with these things; they are parallel to it, not it.

Grief and the grieving process are about healing and growth. It often provokes a yearning for something to fill the void, but it is a journey one can only do alone, so it can be lonely. We may feel that we want help and support, but it is a journey one must do entirely by oneself.

Watching somebody in their grief can be difficult too, but we can’t do it for them, so simply acknowledge and be present when needed. William Cowper said Grief is itself a medicine“.