hope in grief

Finding hope during the grieving process

Finding hope during the grieving process can be a challenge when we’re deep in the pit of despair having lost someone so important to us. Yet finding something to propel us forward can keep us going through the darkest days of grief. The US grief expert, David Kessler highlights how focusing on finding small moments of enjoyment in life can be the best way forward:

“I read an interesting article about people who found happiness and meaning late in their nineties by focusing on small goals and little moments of beauty. Perhaps they look forward to a nephew’s visit, a conversation with a friend, or a slice of coffee cake from the bakery on the corner.

We mark our lives by the big milestones, career changes, graduations, weddings. We look ahead towards these large, tangible markers. When we are in grief and when things feel uncertain, it can be reassuring to focus on micro-pleasures – the small things around us that keep us connected and bring comfort.”

Focus on small things

  • Observe nature – plant some bulbs in a pot and wait for the flowers to grow or watch the buds or leaves appear on the trees. Although it’s sometimes difficult in deep grief, reminding ourselves of something bigger than ourselves can be helpful.
  • Get outside and walk – to literally put one foot in front of the other, to take one step at a time, symbolises the emotional effort we sometimes have to make to get through each day when we’re on an often-unforgiving journey of grief. They say it’s important to look up and out as it helps to remember the vastness of the sky when your world has shrunk and so this also makes both walking and nature incredibly important to healing when we’re grieving.
  • At the end of every day, think of 3 things you’re grateful for. Depending where you are in your grief, this may be a challenge but it can range from something really small like: ‘I’m grateful for my nice warm bed’ to something more profound such as ‘I’m grateful for the person who I lost for being part of my life, for all I learnt from them and for their love’. Shifting our focus in this way has been shown in studies to improve our sense of wellbeing, even in the darkest of times.

As David Kessler says: “Creating small but meaningful moments of hope can help you feel connected and can begin to rebuild the habit of hope.”

Finding hope during the grieving process – if only a tiny glimmer – can help ease some of the pain we inevitably feel after a loss. If you’d like bereavement support, please don’t hesitate to contact me: vanessa@wellbeingandnutrition.co.uk

Read more here about holistic grief coaching