Accepting grief as a natural process

Grief is a state of mind rather than an actual emotion, following the loss of someone that we loved, and is a very important process that should never be avoided or denied.  


A grieving person may experience a whole range of feelings in the days, weeks and months after the death, including sadness, loss, loneliness, fear, isolation, guilt or anger. Allowing these emotions to surface, and to work through them is vital.  

Stifled grief may result in severe depression or the development of complex conditions due to the body absorbing the impact of the suppressed emotions, and the inevitable weakening of the immune system. There is definitely something to be said in favour of those cultures where crying and wailing are held to be completely normal, unlike the stiff-upper-lip attitude that we Brits used to be known for!   

I speak as someone who understands grief very well, having been present at the passing-on of my beloved partner in 2018, after five years of mental and physical illness (Parkinson’s and dementia). Believe it or not, I have sat with two previous husbands up to the moment of their death; one from prolonged alcoholism, and the other from cancer.

To inject a little humour here, let me say that I wouldn’t recommend myself as a wife or partner, other than as someone who understands the dying process well, and has no fear of bearing witness to it!

My personal experience has taught me that it takes a minimum of one year to truly overcome grief, because of all the ‘firsts’ we need to go through: the first week, month, birthday, anniversary, Christmas, Easter and other memorable dates, after which hope gradually appears on the horizon, like the dawning light. By allowing ourselves to celebrate the past, rather than to mourn it, then we can move on and begin to look forward to the future.

I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learnt from losing people very dear to me.

First and foremost, if you’re aware that someone you are close to has a serious health problem and may not have long to live, then talk to them openly about your feelings for them. Be sure to express gratitude for everything they have taught you and for all the acts of kindness they have shown you, and tell them how much you love them.

If there have been problems within your relationship, take time to discuss these in a non-confrontational way, and reach a place of mutual acceptance and understanding. If you’re able to find it in your heart to forgive them, then even better.   

Don’t be afraid to talk about death! Many people, and particularly those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, are very reluctant to talk about the one thing we can be certain of – that we’re going to die one day. Avoidance always creates fear, so having an honest discussion with someone who already knows they are ‘living on borrowed time’ breaks down the barriers and helps both sides to be open about any fear they may have around the subject of death.  

Ask questions, such as ‘What do you think happens when we die?’ and ‘How do you feel about that?’. ‘Is there anything I can say or do to help you when the time comes?’ It might feel a little uncomfortable initially, but once you’ve broken the ice, you will both feel a huge sense of relief.  

Make sure there is nothing left unsaid so there will be no regrets once they have passed over.  

If you are fortunate enough to be with the person in the last few days and hours of their life, tell them that it’s OK for them to let go and that they have nothing to fear. Some people have a deep fear of dying, according to their conditioning and their personal beliefs, so it’s very important for them to be reassured that letting go is safe and there is a wonderful experience awaiting them. What more you say to them will be according to your beliefs and theirs, but I recommend always using positive words and expressions.

No matter what that person’s beliefs are, they seem to gain comfort from a clear message that the Light is waiting for them and that when they feel ready, they can go into the Light, where those who love them will be waiting to welcome them home.  

Be sure to let them know that you and other loved ones will be absolutely fine, and to not delay because of their concern for you or others who they love. This is a very important message to pass on as it is thought that many dying people hang on longer, experiencing unnecessary pain or discomfort, because they are worried that the people they leave behind won’t be able to cope.

After your loved one has died, take time out to process your grief. Some people keep themselves busy in the belief that they can ‘get through it’ without feeling bad. Not so! This ploy merely delays the process and, in some cases, even prolongs it.  

If it brings you comfort to talk to the person you’ve lost, then, by all means, do so! You may or may not believe that they are still around you in Spirit form, but even just imagining that they are listening to you talking about how you’re feeling can significantly ease your grief.

Ask them for a sign that they’re OK! No, I’m not crazy, and if you’re open to the idea that they will find a way to let you know, there’s every chance it will happen. My first experience of this was a few weeks after the funeral of my first husband. I was driving along in the area where he used to live with his Mum when I first knew him, and I asked him for a sign. As I approached a roundabout, a whizzy little sports car appeared in front of me. The number plate was DW1. DW were my husband’s initials. Coincidence? You can decide for yourself.

If you’re still struggling, then grief counselling may help you, or you may find peace by seeing a hypnotherapist to do a beautiful grief process that allows you to meet and talk with your loved one and then finally let them go.

Be gentle with yourself and accept that grief is a completely natural process, that can teach us to let down our barriers and really get in touch with our emotions.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Templecombe, Somerset, BA8 0ET
Written by Niki Cassar, DCH DHP MPLTA SQHP
Templecombe, Somerset, BA8 0ET

Niki Cassar has been working as a full-time hypnotherapist and past life regressionist for the past 22 years, with much of her training done in the USA. She strongly believes that we are all shaped by our past, and only by accessing and neutralising out-of-date information in the subconscious mind can we resolve the issues that cause us problems.

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