leadership roundtable hq

How To Release Your Sorrow and Grief


: 7 Practical Guides to Help

Sorrow and grief of loss take on many forms. It is more saddened when it appears when you least expect it. At other times, it may feel heavy, like a crushing weight you can’t quite crawl out from. There are situations it seems everything in life is over, and you everything ceases.

sorrow and grief
sorrow and grief

Some people process their grief as if they can be paid out it. Mourn like tomorrow “no dey”. Processing grief can take significant time and various rituals; self pitying and pity parties. Some even say we don’t actually process grief but merely get used to it. However, we can practice ways to let go off our grief and accept our emotions.

Whether you’ve lost a loved one, suffering from hell on earth, irreparable damages or are facing the end of a relationship, the hurt exists. Yes, it exists for real. In 2005, I learnt a great wisdom from a friend, a Christian brother and an acquaintance; I use every time to advise myself and others close to me. My friend said, “If it is real, it is not new; if it is new, it is not real”. What that nugget means in a straight sentence is nothing is new. So your cause of grief is not uncommon. Bible said in 1 Corinthian 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Grief and sorrows are real. And for some time, we may feel as though we need to hold onto it for fear of more loss and hurt. [Think of this last sentence]. Isn’t it why you or someone you know try to stick to, hold on, to grief instead of letting it go off and out.

Jamie Anderson, the American gold medalist, a professional snowboarder, described grief beautifully, “Grief, I’ve learned, is just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”

Over the years, I have counseled countless number of sorrowing and grieving people, out of compassion, and have observed these, hence I have come up with these prescriptions – called it practical guides. I don’t really know much theory around them. But they are practically sound and are working.
So, if challenged by sorrows and grief, go on and move forward, and use the following ways to release sorrow and grief, making room for new and happier emotions to enter your life once again. They are;

Practical Guides to Help You Release Sorrow and Grief

  1. Write a Letter.

This could be to the one who is gone. This can offer a safe and private space to pour out your emotions. Take your time. Write anything that comes to mind, whether that includes regrets or the unknown of how to move forward without them.

You can even use this space to write what you appreciated about them being in your life, leaning into a bit of positivity if it feels right. Communication releases.

  1. Bury It (Literally, Not Figuratively).

Have you heard people saying, “It is buried? I have buried the matter”. Okay! This may feel a little ritualistic if not “woo-woo.” Yet, this practice offers a symbolic way to let go.

Grab an item, or put your grief/sorrows in writing or letter.

Find a place; dig a small but shallow hole in the ground.

Place your item or letter (just make sure it’s environmentally friendly) in the hole.

Here, you can choose to say a few words, such as, “I’ve carried this weight for too long and am ready to let it go. I’m ready to allow Mother Nature to use this energy for growth.”

Then, either burn the item (if this is allowed and safe!). Or bury it. Wow! Isn’t it?

  1. Permit Yourself to Feel.

Many of us try to fight our emotions, especially when they are negative. That’s unreal. You can’t beat a child and force him/her not to cry. It’s a bigger wickedness. You can’t be pushed and asked not to fall. It is a bigger cruelty.  When certain sorrows or grief come, express your emotion with control and as one with hope, not hopelessness. I learnt in my childhood that it is better to explode than to suffer implosion as a result of holding myself from exploding. So choose to explode your emotion than by all means pressing yourself down.

What am I saying? Permitted you to feel it? What if you allowed yourself to cry until you couldn’t anymore?

Surprisingly, this can be very cathartic [liberating, healing, and therapeutic], offering some release and some reprieve from the heavy weight of loss and grief you might be feeling.

Providing yourself with some compassion and letting yourself feel the emotions so you can heal them may offer you a path forward and a way to move on in life.

  1. Be Patient.

Time is your friend here. Note that most times in life, time is not your friend, and most other times, time does not heal. This case is different. While we can’t change the past, we can learn that as time goes on we may feel better and that practicing patience with ourselves is the best way to go. Pain can be healthy…and healthy pain means allowing the emotions to come up as time goes by and not suppressing them. Suppressing emotion is not the best option.

  1. Say Goodbye.

Whether you had a chance or not, maybe closure wasn’t there.

Or perhaps the time didn’t allow for a proper farewell. Or maybe you just wanted more time; so much was left unsaid and undone. Let me particularize this on funerals.

While funerals offer a public place to say goodbye, you can also do it in your own time. Writing a letter, as per the above, can be very healing. Additionally, just spending time talking to the person from your heart when you’re alone can be very healing.

Imagine them standing in front of you.

What would you say?

What are you wanting them to know?

What would make you feel even slightly better being able to express yourself to them?

While you do this, you may want to light a candle or incense, making it a more formal and personal farewell. You mustn’t do things when people are doing. Certain things in life, don it in your own time or term.

  1. Create a Memory Box.

This provides somewhere you can turn to or go when you’re missing your loved one.

A memory box might include a simple shoebox filled with small items that are sentimental to you or remind you of them. It can be a framed enlarged picture. This can help you feel closer to them when you’re struggling. It can provide space for you to talk with them still, even though they aren’t there.

  1. Plant Something in Their Honor.

Again, particularizing of loss of life! Where there has been loss, give life.

This might mean planting a new tree or annual plant to signify the circle of life and honour the one lost. It can also provide a place where you can visit and think about your memories together.

Know That Grief is Okay to Feel.

It’s a completely natural response to loss, whether that loss was by choice or not.

The truth is, grief can feel overwhelming, making us want to push it away. However, this often only makes it more pronounced, echoing in other parts of our lives or actions. Instead, feeling our way through is the best way to heal and feel like ourselves again.

In conclusion, recall the words of Jamie Anderson, the gold medalist, described grief beautifully, “Grief, I’ve learned, is just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”

Mike Ihezuo is a Speaker, Consultant, Author,  and Writer. Follow him @MikeOIhezuo, @LeaderMikeO, #leadershipxcellence, @mikeihezuospeakshq and @mikeihezuospeakstv. Contact Ad Inquiry.

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Dr Mike Ihezuo

Content Creator

Mike is a leader and leader’s developer, a speaker, an author and a prolific writer, a researcher and consultant. He invests life, time, energy, resources and money to empowering organizations desiring upward dive to top performance and individuals desirous of fulfilling their destinies, discovering purpose and seeking success towards significance. Mike, as a life coach, team builder, conflict resolutions exponent, motivational maestro, negotiation experts, corporate strategist, an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial developer, invites you to this LeadershipRoundTableHQ. Let’s talk and discuss so as to learn and GROW…


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