Does Grief Ever Get Better?

Grief is inevitable in life, but knowing this does not take our pain away. Loss comes in all shapes and sizes and each of us processes death differently. When an immeasurable loss is experienced, it can feel like the pain will never go away. This may be true for some, and for others, time lessens the hurt. Some describe grief as coming in waves; one day the pain is distant and the next day the tide is rising uncontrollably. There is no one right way to deal with grief. Your grief is as unique as you are. I can tell you from personal experience that there can be a life worth living after the loss of a loved one; even if you don’t see it and it seems impossible right now.

How does the brain deal with grief?

It takes time to accept the reality that one of your loved ones is gone. The time spent together and the memories built may be constantly flashing through your mind. What once seemed like routine is now cherished deeply because it is the only thing you have left. You may spend your days trying to barter with God so he will bring your loved one back. This is one of the ways you may be dealing with the shock of what has happened.

The brain is often in shock and deals with grief as a learning experience. You may have asked yourself: How do I go on without you? How do I live in a world that doesn’t have you in it? As described by grief and bereavement specialist Mary-Frances O’Connor, grief is the overwhelming feeling you experience in the short term that takes over your whole being, and grieving is the learning experience that you go through as you make sense of what remains (American Psychological Association, 2022).

How do I cope with grief?

Everyone copes with grief in different ways. The first thing that others desire to do is provide advice to help us. However, what worked for them may not work for you and that is 100% okay. Coping in your own way that helps you heal is the most important thing to keep in mind. Below are a few coping strategies that may assist you in your healing:

  • Finding a support group
  • Journaling
  • Meditating
  • Seeking help from God
  • Going to church
  • Lighting a memory candle
  • Practicing acceptance
  • Writing a letter to the loved one you lost

What if I am not ready to heal?

It is okay to feel like you are not ready to let go or heal. It is also okay to be angry. I have been there, and it is an indescribable feeling that affects everyone in their own way. Despite how impossible it may seem now, acknowledging your feelings is the first step toward healing. We cannot accept what we do not acknowledge. Many people feel guilty when they try to move on with their lives, and this is a normal reaction as well.

Next Steps

If you feel lost, stuck, or devastated, you are not alone. Processing grief can be difficult and we understand this. You may be asking yourself, “What do I do now?” We are here to help you find answers to this question. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we have a team of compassionate and experienced therapists that will meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to be. Your therapist will sit with you in your pain as you grieve. They will help you discover how you need to grieve in a way that is unique and right for you. When you are ready, they will help you heal and build a life with the people that are here while honoring and holding the love in your heart for the person who is not. If you or someone you know is struggling with their grief, we are here for you. The next natural step is to invite us into your story by contacting us today. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

How to Address Grief in Children

It is no secret that grief is one of the most challenging obstacles a person can face. It is completely normal that you would want to guard your child’s heart from the pain and heartbreak it brings. Even though your intentions are out of love, it can be harmful acting as if the event never happened or thinking that your child will be unaffected.

It is important to acknowledge that your child is a person like you or me. They experience emotions such as sadness, confusion, and denial. Validating these emotions is a healthy way to help your child cope with a life-changing event. A couple ways you can do this is by being honest with your child, being a safe place for them to ask questions, and helping them keep to normal routines.


Being honest with your child is an important step to their grieving process. There are moments where you might think telling a lie would protect them, but the truth will be revealed to them at some point. You want the truth of the situation to be given to them by someone that they love and trust. Depending on the age of your child, not all details need to be revealed at the time of the event. A common Rule of thumb: if they are asking the question, then they are old enough to know the answer. Also, don’t be afraid to express your emotions in front of your child. It validates to them that being sad or upset is okay and it gives them permission to grieve as well.

Open to Questions

Depending on the age of your child it is common that they will have questions concerning the situation. This might be difficult for you because in certain moments it will be hard for you to discuss what happened. However, you being a safe place for them can make a huge difference in their healing. Reassuring your child’s safety lets them know that they will be okay and so will the people they care about. Don’t be afraid to initiate conversation because your child might not know how to bring up the topic. On the other hand, don’t force a conversation that your child doesn’t want to have. And make an effort to approach these conversations and questions with empathy and age appropriate levels that are right for your unique child.

Stick to Routines

After experiencing a traumatic event, it can be easy to disregard the routines that were once a part of your daily life. This could be making your bed, going to the gym, or making dinner for your family. It can be difficult to do these things when every part of you is fighting against them. Keeping a routine during your grieving process can help your child feel a sense of normalcy and structure even when their lives feel in a million pieces. For example, making sure your child is still involved in their after school activities.

Most importantly, be kind and patient with yourself. Daily routines will not immediately fall back into place, but structure can bring a little more stability in the midst of heartbreak.


If you or your child is grieving, we would love to walk alongside you as you heal and start to understand a life without the person or thing you have lost. You can reach us at (405) 921-7776 or learn more click here to learn more about grief counseling. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

How to Support a Loved One Who is Grieving

When someone you love is grieving it can be heartbreaking to watch. We automatically want to do anything we can to make their pain more bearable. In these moments, sometimes what you do can be more meaningful than what you say. Many times we put pressure on ourselves to say the “right” things. We often do this because we feel uncomfortable and want their pain to stop. And as great as that sounds, we do not have the ability to do that. Instead, we can support them. We can do this by validating the pain they are in without judgment, just listen and DON’T correct them when they speak. We can empathize with their situation and be physically present to meet practical needs. People who are grieving are often hurting so much they become disoriented and may not know what they need. You can make clear suggestions and see if anything you suggest would be helpful for them.


Acknowledge that their pain is real and the feelings and thoughts they have around it. Remember, this is a time to love and support instead of confront and correct. If they are grieving a loved one, give them a safe place to share memories and express their feelings. Another way you can support them in their pain is by offering to help with a specific task. People who are grieving are often hurting so much they become disoriented and may not know what they need. And many people will try to be supportive by asking the person in pain: “Let me know if I can do anything for you.” Instead of using vague phases, try asking if you can assist them with a particular burden. That might be bringing them dinner, cleaning up around their house, or helping with funeral arrangements.

Active Listening

Active listening is a great way to show support to someone who is grieving. When someone we love is grieving, a common response is to try to make them feel better or “fix them.” Even though we do this out of love and kindness it can be hurtful, especiall with a death. Those who are hurting because they lost someone don’t need advice. Instead, they will often need you to sit and listen without interrupting or judging them.

Nonverbal communication is a big part of active listening. A couple ways you can show your support is by making eye contact, nodding your head, and being aware of your facial expressions. Refuse to say things like “OK”, “I understand” and any other one word answer that can feel like you are diminishing their pain. These are all simple gestures that can go a long way when it comes to supporting a loved one who has experienced a significant loss.


A big part of being empathetic is being honest and vulnerable with the person you are talking to. It is easy to get empathy and sympathy confused when you are supporting someone who is in pain. Empathy is the ability to share the feelings of another person and connect with parts of yourself that know that feeling. It is making an effort to place yourself in their shoes. Sympathy is showing feelings of pity or sorrow on someone or their circumstances. An example of sympathy would be giving a person flowers and a card after their mom has passed away. Empathy on the other hand would be taking the perspective of that person, staying out of judgment, and being able to recognize and emotionally validate their feelings.


Normalizing a person’s experience can bring them a great deal of comfort. When someone is encountering grief, they might be having thoughts and emotions that they never knew were possible. Validating these emotions can help bring acceptance to their grief experience. An example of this could be telling a person “I can see how after what happened you would feel that way.” Another instance could be saying something such as “It makes sense that you are angry with God after losing your brother in a car accident.” These statements show the individual that their thoughts are part of the grieving process and okay.

The bottom line is that everyone has a unique grief journey. Whether you are in Oklahoma City, Edmond or Japan it will be unique to that person. You have an opportunity to come alongside and be a student of what they need. This could be one of the hardest parts of their life and the love and support you give could make all the difference.

If you would like someone to help walk with you and guide you in your grief journey we are here. You do not have to walk this road alone. You can reach us at (405) 921-7776 or on the web at We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Written by Darby Hargrove and Shawn Maguire, LPC. Shawn owns New Vision Counseling and Consulting and has trained a team of therapists who help their clients achieve life changing results. Because of their success in helping clients heal and come alive they are currently the top rated and reviewed counseling practice in Oklahoma.