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Moving Forward from Grief

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It is hard to sum up 2020 with any word better than grief. Most of us have experienced some type of life-changing loss. Some have grieved losing a loved one to COVID-19 or other illnesses, and we have all grieved the loss of our normal routine.

So how do we move forward into this New Year if we don’t feel “done with” the last one? Here we will take a look at grief, coping with loss, and moving forward from it.


No Specific Timeline

The first thing to remember about grief is that it looks different for everyone. There is no one way to grieve and no timeline for how long it will/should last; it can, in fact be quite a long process.

“Add in a global pandemic and it can be especially difficult,” says Sherry Randles, Director of Crisis Services for Centerstone. “Even some of the important rituals of grieving have been taken from us such as memorial services and even the simple act of being physically present for a hug.”

In our fast-paced society, there is the temptation to “get over it” quickly and move on with your life. But it is vitally important to remember that you need to be patient with yourself. If you want to process your grief adequately, give yourself time and grace, especially after a year filled with hardships and disruptions.


Recognize and Reevaluate

The first step toward processing grief is recognizing the grief you feel and letting yourself feel it – don’t try to push it away. While it may seem preferable to try and forget what happened, this will likely lead to other barriers that could prevent you from overcoming that grief.

“Avoidance is a defense mechanism that we use sometimes to protect ourselves from grief, but eventually it rears its ugly head and can ‘bubble up’ when you least expect it,” says Megan Williams, Director of Suicide Prevention for Centerstone.

To work through grief, you must evaluate, not ignore, your feelings. The best way to do this is by talking to someone about them. You can talk to a trusted friend, family member, mentor or mental health professional. Always be honest, and try to verbalize your feelings so you can both understand where you are in the grieving process.

In our current COVID world, this may look different. If you can’t safely meet with someone, set up a meeting on phone or video call. You may consider joining a virtual support group. However you approach it, don’t let the state of the world stop you from being honest with yourself about how you feel.

If you need assistance processing grief, remember that help is just a phone call away. Connect with Centerstone today by calling 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123) or by visiting centerstoneconnect.org.

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