When you lose someone you love- a parent, spouse, friend, child- when you lose someone to death, your grief takes a path all its own. Grieving is a mysterious process that has no timetable and each person gets their needs met in different ways. Moods will shift in an instant and the most mundane of tasks may seem impossible. Stress builds relentlessly and many are at a loss at the start of this inevitable process, numb with shock and the unthinkable yet necessary reconciliation of life without the lost loved one.

This list was inspired by the loss a dear friend of mine experienced when her father died suddenly. She found it helpful and suggested it be shared with others. It is by no means a quick fix nor a method to avoid the pain of grief. It is simply a perspective to consider when support is required.

This page is dedicated to Allan Marion and the family that loves him so.


~Anything and everything you do is OK.
~That means being moody, irritable, downright bitchy is OK
~Being late, forgetful, uninterested, distracted, burning the toast, dropping the plate, breaking the window, is OK
~Wanting to be private and not social is OK, no matter what the occasion, or how often you're invited. You are entitled to get through your loss YOUR WAY.
~t's OK to tell people who want to help that all you need from them is to
sit with you SILENTLY. That that is support enough. There's nothing to fix
here. It's all process of healing your heart from now on.
~It's OK to ask your partner to do anything you're not up to. S/He can arrange to get more help if necessary.
~It's OK to hire a cleaning lady, increase hours of childcare, order food in
or use a service like Dinnerworks etc. because you may not be up to those daily tasks for a while. OR after a while.
~It's OK to spend whatever you need to get any need met.
~It's OK to get a healing massage at home each week. It's actually important
to help move your emotions out of your body, to release the stress around the traumatic time prior to the death if there was an illness.
~It's OK to cry ANYWHERE ANYTIME. People may look, but ultimately it doesn't matter what they think. THIS IS ALL ABOUT YOU NOW.
~It's OK to get your spouse to call his/her family daily so you don't have to deal with good intentioned people trying to fulfill THEIR need to help you. Not your problem.
~It's OK to say no to projects you're not up to, or to make arrangements for business support to help out. Don't worry about business now, it will all work out. You will not lose clients over this.
~Afford everything you wish you could have right now for support. In money, calories, energy, sleep, classes, books, movies, music, whatever. This is when you need to show yourself unconditional generosity. You are worth everything it takes to get through this initial time of grieving.
~It's OK to be angry. At nothing in particular. At anyone specifically.
~It's OK to feel afraid of what's next.
~It's OK to talk to your deceased loved one, and express anything you wish you'd said or want to repeat.

~It's OK to believe anything your child says about him/her. S/he's young enough to still be a transmitter for the other side.

~It's OK to be happy as the time passes, to feel a sunburst of joy slip in. It doesn't mean you love or miss them less. Enjoying your life at any given moment doesn't mean you are disloyal in any way. This is what healing looks like.

ANYTHING YOU DO is ok now. There are no mistakes, no selfishness, no inappropriate behaviour. The love around you will hold you close. Till you are OK again. You will be OK again.


Click here to read the poem Mourning Greeting.

If you live in the Toronto area and would like professional support, you can book a private session with Gestalt therapist, Laila Ghattas. Call 416. 696. 0086.

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