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The Pitfalls of Grief - Part 1

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

By Meghan Smith Brooks

Pitfall 1: Anxiety and Stress

Why do we grieve anyway? We grieve because we loved. Think about it.

If you didn’t love, you wouldn’t have these painful emotions that you are experiencing anyway. So, yes, your heart is broken. And right now, that is okay because the emotions of grief, such as shock, anger, regret, denial, guilt, fear, loneliness, disappointment, etc. are normal and natural.

In many instances, the anxiety and stress experienced is due to anticipation and fear of your future without your loved one. Although the pain and absence you might feel is natural and normal, focusing only on these feelings creates more anxiety and stress. The mind, body, and spirit all work together, so the broken heart, if not addressed, can wreak havoc on your whole body.

If you develop food poisoning from something you’ve eaten, is it better to hold in the stomach pains and sick feelings, or let it out? You will only feel better and get through the sickness when the bad food is released. Holding it in might even be fatal.

I associate the food poisoning analogy with the internal anxiety and stress associated with your grief. Holding in your feelings only compounds the negative effects. Talk to someone, ideally a non-judgmental friend, spiritual advisor, counselor, therapist, or grief coach.

TAKEAWAY: Let the pain and hurt out so that you can make room to receive hope, love, and gratitude.

**For more information on grief healing and how to avoid the pitfalls of grief contact

Rev. Meghan Smith Brooks, Unity minister, certified grief coach and author of “Unraveling Grief: A Mother’s Spiritual Journey of Healing and Discovery” at or view our website for services and programs

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