Handling the PAIN of Grief

From the author: This is an article you can share, send, or forward to others to help them understand the grieving heart a little better.

The pain is real

“The pain is deeper and more intense than I could have imagined. It rattles my soul,” said Maggie.

Maggie’s mother had died of Alzheimer’s several months previously. She had been her mom’s caregiver for years. Though she was relieved her mom was no longer suffering, the loss left a gaping hole in her heart.


Respect their pain

Loss is painful. It can be traumatic, even devastating. How we handle another’s heart is important, especially when they’re hurting. You can care for and support them by acknowledging and respecting their pain.

From the Grieving Heart…

I’m hurting. Something traumatic has occurred. Someone I love is gone, and they’re not coming back. 

I don’t know how to do this. It’s like I’ve been hit by a bus, and I’m lying flat in the middle of the road, watching the sky go by.

The world speeds on, oblivious to my loss. I watch but can’t seem to enter in. It’s as if someone pushed the pause button on my life. My world has suddenly changed, forever. 

I’m stunned. I’m hurting. My heart is crushed. Grief can be heavy.

And yet, I can’t fully accept it somehow. This can’t be real.  

I know this is confusing for you. It’s confusing for me also. You’re probably wondering what to say or what to do. 

You can come sit beside me in the road, if you want. You don’t have to say much. In fact, you don’t have to say anything at all. Your presence is worth all the words in the world right now.

I probably won’t say much either. Don’t expect much out of me. I won’t be myself for a while. In fact, I may never be the same again. This is something we’ll both have to grapple with, but now isn’t the time for that.

Sometimes all I can do is lie here and breathe. I won’t be here forever, but it’s where I am today.

This is hard. It hurts.

Please be patient with me. I’m grieving.


Grief hurts

Losing a loved one is painful and traumatic. It can wound the soul and crush the heart.

We lose parents, siblings, relatives, friends, co-workers, and even children and grandchildren. We lose people to death, divorce, moves, disasters, or illness. We can lose them in an instant, or we can lose them over time.

Unfortunately, loss is a huge part of life. How we deal with it makes all the difference – both for ourselves and those around us.

Your grieving relative or friend is hurting. Their “normal” is gone. The disappearance of someone they love is affecting them deeply.

  • Change has hit their heart and life. You may not feel or understand it, but their pain is very real.
  • It really feels as if they’ve been hit by a bus. Life is no longer business as usual for them.
  • They need people who will be with them through this. Grief is lonely, but no one should have to endure this spot in the road alone.
  • Helping them may be different than you think. They need people who will hear their heart and meet them where they are. 

They’re hurting. They’re supposed to be. Acknowledge and respect their pain. They’re getting hit over and over again. Venture out and sit beside them in the middle of the road. Your presence can be more comforting than you realize.

"You’re hurting. You should be. You lost someone you love.

I will respect your pain."


Adapted from the newly released bestseller, Please Be Patient, I’m Grieving: How to Care For and Support the Grieving Heart. 

Article Images

About the Author

Gary Roe is an author, speaker, and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley. He is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child, Please Be Patient, I'm Grieving, HEARTBROKEN: Healing from the Loss of a Spouse, and Surviving the Holidays without You and the co-author (with New York Times Bestseller Cecil Murphey) of Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One. Visit him at www.garyroe.com.

I'm Grieving, Now What?