One guarantee that we all have in this life is that we are all going to have to deal with grief and loss at least at one point or another. The sad fact of life is that we all lose people we love and care about and often this is painful and it hurts a lot. Sometimes our grief can be mixed with relief and guilt. This is often the case if we have been supporting someone or have had a loved one who has been very unwell for some time and has been in a lot of pain for a long while. In these circumstances we can have a sense of relief when they finally die because they are no longer in pain and we no longer have to worry about them. At times we can often experience guilt due to our sense of relief that their suffering and our worry is over due to their death. Mixed feelings are not uncommon when someone we love dies. What can make grief and loss even harder is that others may not know how to respond to us and may want us to move on and through the grief and loss faster than we are ready to. Often they may say well-meaning things that we don't find helpful or possibly even invalidating such as: "time heals", "you will get over it", "they are in a better place now", (or even worse) "you should be over this by now". The truth is that grief and loss takes time and is a process not something you just go out and do, nor is there a clear right or wrong way to grieve. If you have experienced a significant loss (it may be a loved one, a relationship, a job, or even a dream), remember to be gentle with yourself and to give yourself time. It is also important to not judge yourself for how you feel. You may feel very alone, confused, and even wonder when it is going to stop. You may even wonder if you will ever feel "normal" again. Experiencing a significant loss can trigger other losses from earlier in our lives and the feelings can at times become overwhelming. It is important to get support at these times. If you know someone who is going through grief and loss, it is important to allow them to have their feelings and to not try and cheer them up or get them to move on. The main thing is to be present and listen to them without judgment or expectation that they will feel better. Let them know that you are there for them and that you care and that you are available. The following article from the New York Times offers what I thought was some sensible and well thought out ideas and advice. Just click the link below to read it.