How to deal with grief and loss – Embrace the grief

How to deal with grief and loss – Embrace the grief

Veena Sethuraman

TedX Speaker, Head Learning & Development, InMobi


Grief is one of the most powerful emotions human beings are capable of feeling. It has the ability to heal, transform and inspire; If only we allow it to.

 In the last 5 years of my journey as a psychotherapist, I have watched and helped people go through it; handling grief and living with it. This has helped me get familiar with this emotion. It became a familiar territory from the unknown and unchartered black hole that it was.

Handling Grief – it is never just a phase

While, people may think of grief as yet another phase, it is not. While there are stages of grief articulated for the healing process, grief cannot be put in just phases and boxes. Grief is the deeper sorrow any human being can get in touch within them. All of us are wounded at some point or the other; we may get in touch with the grief about that wound anytime later in life. For some, it is triggered by an incident in the here and now; for others it is triggered by a long lost memory. However, the question I have always wondered is why are we scared to feel that deep sorrow?

How to deal with grief and loss – Embrace the grief

The biggest insight about handling grief, which I have picked up from my own healing process is that, the more I embrace my grief and allow myself to feel it, the more I am healed. The more I am healed, the more I am able to be real and authentic; And this is a life long process.

Whether it is someone who has lost their loved ones; or,  it is a super successful adult who is haunted by a childhood trauma. Whether it is a passionate adult who is striving hard to achieve that big dream and looks at it as a do or die situation; or it is a dysfunctional adult who is unable to cope up with stress. All these people could feel the grief. It could hit people in different ways.

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How to deal with grief and loss – some suggestions

 So, if you are going through grief, what can you do?

– Own it and embrace it
– Give yourself time to feel it
– Its ok to have unanswered questions
– Its ok to be vulnerable
– Do not feel the guilt for your sorrow
– Do not force yourself to snap out of it
– Love yourself more…You deserve to be loved more at this time than ever before.

If someone in your circle is going through the grief, what can you do?

– Listen to them without judgements
– Do not give them feedback. It’s not an appraisal conversation. They are being vulnerable in front of you ,because they trust you; Not because they are not capable of handling themselves.
– Do not advise them on how beautiful life is.
– Do not ask them to cheer up
– Do not share your story on how great you are and how wonderfully you handled your grief
– Be comfortable with silence and pauses
– Do not force them to smile or be happy
– Give them a big warm hug
– Look at their eyes and tell them they are warriors.

It takes a lot of courage to be strong. But it takes even more courage to feel the grief. So, are you ready to embrace and own your grief? On one of those days, when I allowed myself to feel the magic of this process, I scribbled this in my journal

I was lost and wanted to be found. Grief helped me. To find me. In me.

This article was first published at Veena Sethuraman’s blog


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Meenu Sareen
5 years ago

A very simple and sensible article.

Divya A
Divya A
5 years ago

This is beautiful Veena, Give them a hug and remind them that they are warriors are two that stay with me as reminders when sharing in my friends grief.

The time off to fully feel my own needs reminders, like this. Thank you!

Kat Kennedy
Kat Kennedy
5 years ago

I have found through the death of my sister followed in two months by the death of my daughter that you can’t run from grief. It lives in me. The loss of the two most important women in my life has changed me. Not my essence, but how I tend to look at life. I stay much more busy now. I don’t waste time. I am sad. I don’t go around crying every second of the day, but there are days I cry a great deal. When the sorrow comes, I am gutted, brought to my knees and I cry… Read more »

Rajiv Soni
Rajiv Soni
5 years ago

I just jumped into my work and forgot about God’s will. Done n dusted! 🙂