Even though I am still reeling from my son’s death, things still must get done – taxes, money stuff, work, prosecution stuff…

Here’s what’s been working for me:

  1. Have grief sessions every morning and/or evening. Just a time to let whatever you are feeling out – through music, journaling, art. Letting it out every day, makes it easier the rest of the day.
  2. Only choose 3 things that have to be done. On some days, just 1.
  3. Set the timer for every 15 minutes when you are in ‘get it done’ mode. When the timer goes off, check in to see if you are focusing. If you aren’t, you can choose whether to re-focus or take a break.
  4. Take breaks often. Whether you need to cry in the bathroom, take a short walk in the sunshine or call a friend.
  5. Slow down a lot. Bow out of duties. Cut down on social commitments. Overload makes things more difficult.
  6. Ask for help. The people that love you want to be able to comfort and support you. But they don’t know what you need unless you ask. I have a friend who is doing dishes twice a week. And food from the church 3 times a week. And lots of comfort, kind words and prayers.
  7. Get enough sleep. No need to add extremely tired to the mix.
  8. Keep checking in with yourself. When you know tears or rage are coming, you can get into a non-public place if that is what you want. But, you need to check in often to keep ahead. At least every hour. Ask yourself how you are feeling, what you need and if you need support.
  9. Decompress when you get home. Go for a nature walk, cry in the shower, connect with someone if you want to, ignore calls if you don’t, or do some yoga.


Photo by: Punk Rock

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  • Raelene

    Wonderful post. My father passed away in 2008 and my mother passed away this past January 2011. It is still hard for me to realize that life does go on without them. I still pick up the phone to call my mother. Thank you for reminding us how to keep getting things done, but taking time for ourselves and that it is okay for us to have time to grieve. Many blessings….

  • dori

    Beth you are amazing – to be organizing your thoughts and putting on the blog to help others. Blessings and prayers with you all —

  • Christina

    My heart and gratitude are with you, may we all learn from the legacy of you and your family.

  • Gina

    Thank you so much for this post. What it teaches me is to be kind to myself and patient and respectful with me. I have been an emotional wreck for entirely different reasons – financial and health problems and a relationship that we keep resusitating. I have not been kind, patient, or even reasonable with myself. Thank you for reminding me to check in. I get frustrated when others don’t check in, but I am even more guilty of ignoring my own needs. I cry and sometimes talk to others, but I don’t make regular time for me. Thank you very much for this post.

  • Dee Lane


    I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words that can adequately comfort you at this time but hopefully the loving memories of your son (and even the silly, goofy ones) can. With those and the support of family and friends, over time it will get easier. You’ll always miss him and wish he were with you. Grief is different for each of us so don’t let anyone else tell you how you should feel. Just do what’s right for you. Take care and blessed be.


  • Kristie H

    Beth, Thank you for your helpful tips, my family is working through the death of my 7 year old nephew, who died in a sliding accident a few weeks ago and your tips are right on target. From a person with multiple health issues, You are a treasure and I look forward to each newsletter because it helps me get my life in order and not lose what progress I have made. Although no progress in past few weeks, I have been able to maintain with the help of re-reading past issues. Thank you and God bless.

  • Christine

    Hi Beth, I was just wondering how you are getting along. Glad to see you are still on the job. Yes, all these tips help and are practical. I have gone through some grief for different reasons. I used these strategies – I am glad to see they are “OK” things to use.
    Yes, you are in my thoughts- even though I don’t know you and in my prayers.

  • Beth

    I am glad these are helping others going through tough times. I hear the pain. May we all comfort each other.

  • Gloria

    Beth, part of me cannot believe you are back on the job [as in, WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN GRIEVE 24/7 ????] and another part of me is glad to see that you’re back because it’s also a way to heal [as in, helping others helps ourselves]. As a “simpler life educator,” you show uncanny good sense, which is probably actually the only way to regulate messes (both household-type and emotional). Wishing you blessings.

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