21 Hidden Benefits of Grief

Benefits??  Of Grief??  I hear you scream.  How can there be hidden benefits of grief?  Grief is terrible.  It makes us want to curl into a ball and not come out.  It is painful, raw, confusing and can last a long time.  So how can we find any benefits in that?  

Well, although none of us realise it at the time, going through the the grieving process is said to make us stronger personalities, better able to cope with challenges later in life. 

Pain makes you stronger, tears make you braver, and heartbreak makes you wiser, so thank your past for a better future. With orange sunrise.

When my Dad died, one of the things which surprised me was just how much I learned about him from all the messages we received from his old friends and colleagues.  Of course, I'd much rather have had him there, but the stories they told and the warmth of the affection that people had for him were huge comforts for me and showed me a side of my Dad that I didn't know. 

It made me think about grief and why we need it in our lives, and the comforts and benefits it can bring on a community as well as a personal level.  

Grief can teach us many things.  It prepares us for coming to terms with our own mortality, it brings communities and families together and can help us to mature and grow as people. It teaches us empathy and understanding so we can be more caring to others.  

Here are some of things that grief has taught me, which I think of as my 'hidden benefits of grief'.  Looking at it like this might be a comfort and help you through the dark times.  

Experiencing the death of a close family member has taught me:

  1. Acceptance of things I can't change
  2. Appreciation of my loved one who’s gone
  3. Appreciation for own life
  4. To make the most of every day
  5. A new understanding of my loved one's place in my life
  6. Maturity
  7. Responsibility
  8. A clearer understanding of others
  9. More understanding of myself, my strengths
  10. Confidence that I can cope with anything life throws at me
  11. What’s important in life
  12. Not to worry about the trivial
  13. To love for those around me
  14. To treasure moments of happiness 
  15. To be grateful for every day
  16. To treasure precious memories
  17. To ensure that I make new special memories

The quality of our lives, not the quantity is what is important. We can all give ourselves permission to be happy again and live a good life for our loved ones. Their love made us strong and better able to cope.

I'm not saying it's easy to learn all these things, and it takes time.  Acceptance isn't won overnight. Denial of grief can make it hard, and if you had a complicated relationship with the deceased it can be exceptionally difficult to come to terms with what has happened. If you feel you need help to reach an understanding and acceptance of your loss, it is nothing to be ashamed about. We all have different life journeys and some will be tougher than others. 

We have partnered with BetterHelp to offer flexible online counseling in total confidentiality. You can click here to find out how online counseling works.  

The Hidden Benefits of Coming to Terms with Mortality

Many people go through years of their life without knowing what suffering the loss of a loved one means. The pain of grief has not entered their lives. In western societies funerals and all the surrounding services are kept private for family and friends. We hardly ever see funeral corteges. My mother remembers, 70 years ago now, standing quietly and seeing men taking their hats off out of respect as corteges went by. Parents would explain what was happening and, as best they could, talk about someone dying and what it meant. This opportunity to learn about death does not happen in today's modern societies.

For many children the first experience they have of facing up to a death of a loved one, is the loss of a pet. This can be helpful and prepare them for coping with grief later in life.  

Death doesn't define you, it makes you stronger. It changes how you view the world.  It makes you more aware that every breath you take could be the last.  Elizabeth Postle.

18.  Grief Can Bring Communities Together

Awful tragedies such as natural catastrophes, war, severe floods or fires and terrorist attacks such as the recent one in my old home of Barcelona, are horrendous.  However they do bring people together.  After the Barcelona attack on the Ramblas, thousands gathered to mourn and protest the atrocity which had taken the lives of people from all over the world. The community spirit of rebuilding together and giving each other support gives a sense of purpose and personal worth. There is the sense of friendship and belonging and it helps to heal.  These gatherings bring hope for peace.  

The loss of a famous person is also a way that communities come together to mourn, and to come to terms with the realisation that life is not permanent. 

19. Grief Can Bring Families Together

When families lose a special parent or sibling, grieving together often brings them closer.  All petty differences are put into perspective. Trivial things are put aside as they mourn the loss of their loved one.  

20.  Learning Empathy Through Grief

Another hidden benefit is that when we have been through loss and the pain of grief, we are in a better position to understand what others are suffering. We are therefore better able to support and comfort them in their time of need. 

21. Relief that our Loved One is at Peace 

When a loved one has been very ill and in pain there is the grief of loss but also the sense of relief that they are at peace and pain free. No one wants to see a loved one suffer. Relief is one of the more surprising emotions of grief that we have talked about on this site.  You can read more about it here.  

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.

If you are unable to find comfort, or to cherish the happy memories of your loved one, you might need help. See below for details of the expert online counseling service we recommend. 

Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home

  • Simply fill out the online questionnaire and you will be assigned the expert grief counselor most suitable for you.  It only takes a few minutes and you don't even have to use your name.  
  • Pay an affordable FLAT FEE FOR UNLIMITED SESSIONS.  
  • Contact your counselor whenever you like by chat, messaging, video or phone. 
  • You can change counselor at any time if you wish.
  • Click here to find out more and get started immediately. 
  • Or read more about how online counseling works here.  
Woman Crying. Get Started with Online Counselling

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Self-Help Hypnosis Downloads

Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind and help you cope with your grief. We recommend Hypnosis Downloads which have been created especially for those who are grieving by qualified specialists in medical hypnotherapy.

Choose from this list of grief and loss tracks for your specific type of loss.  

Memorial Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia is one of the earth's oldest plants, with a spectacular flower which dates back 95 million years.  What a beautiful specimen to commemorate a life. 

These trees are grown by the foremost magnolia nursery in the USA and they will send a variety most suited to the recipient's climate. 

The flowers in spring will bring joy to the bereaved and help to heal their heart.

Only available in the USA. 

For Memorial Trees within the UK, click here

Heart Shaped Sterling Silver Pendant for Cremation Ashes, Engraved Forever Loved

Memorial Pendant for Cremation Ashes

Keep the ashes of your loved one close to your heart with this sterling silver engraved pendant.  

Available here from Etsy and ships worldwide.  

With Sympathy Gifts And Keepsakes

Choose from a beautiful range of sympathy gifts and keepsakes.  From jewellery to garden angels, candles, comforting books and artworks, memorial plaques, throws, wind chimes and keepsake boxes.  You will find the perfect gift to comfort a friend or relative here.  

Click here to see the whole range

Related Pages: 

Common Questions about Bereavement Answered

The Emotions of Grief

Does Online Grief Counseling Work? 

> > 21 Hidden Benefits of Grief

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