Creating Helpful Beliefs to Help Support You through Grief

Any thoughts you have that start with the words would, could and should are an indicator that you are experiencing some beliefs that are not helping you move through grief.  In fact having beliefs with these three words can prolong your grief and cause you even greater pain.

The reason being is that these words are usually used as judgement against ourselves.  They create guilt and shame over things that we did or didn’t do before our loved one died.  So instead of working through our grief and rebuilding our lives after loss we become caught up in going over and over events in our heads as if merely by thinking about it we could change what happened.

Using these words again and again in our thoughts and beliefs is a way of fighting against the death of our loved one.  They are a sign of non-acceptance over the death of our loved one.  Yet the more we fight the less peace we are able to find.  True acceptance of the death of our loved one is the ability to acknowledge their death without experiencing beliefs that try to find a different ending to what happened.

Rather than let these beliefs rule your grief you actually have the power to change them.  It’s important that you don’t try to repress these thoughts.  They are totally natural to experience after the death of a loved one.  Simply being aware of them and acknowledging them allows you to let go of them and move forward with more supportive beliefs that will help you fully accept the death of your loved one.

The next time you experience overwhelming grief pay attention to your thoughts and notice if you are thinking in terms of would, could and should.  Say thank you to the thought and let it go.  Become aware if these thoughts keep reoccurring.  If they do it’s a sign that you are attached to the belief.

It can be incredibly helpful to explore the belief in your journal.  You may also want to share it with someone.  Sometimes speaking the belief that you have out loud is all that you need to actually let it go.  What you’ll also find is that if you share the belief with someone else who has experienced the death of a loved one too, the odds are that they will probably have thought the exact same thing that you are thinking.

Questions for Self-Reflection:

  • What beliefs currently support you in moving through grief?
  • What beliefs cause you pain and make you stuck in grief?
  • What new belief could you replace these with?
  • Who would you need to be to believe this new belief?
About the Author
Author, Thriving Loss: Move beyond grief to a place of peace, passion and purpose.
I'm Grieving, Now What?