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9 Grief Affirmations for Feeling and Healing the Difficult Emotions

9 Grief Affirmations for Feeling and Healing the Difficult Emotions

“I have seen the sea when it is storm and wild; when it is quiet and serene; when it is dark and moody. And in all these moods, I see myself.” – Martin Buxbaum

There is no magic cure for feeling better, and I’m not someone who thinks there should be a cure for being human. There’s a reason, a time and place for everything we feel. We hurt because it mattered. We grieve because we’ve loved.

Being human means being awake to every season and storm we walk through.

It also means figuring out what helps you walk through “the worst” without giving up or turning to stone.

Affirmations aren’t magic either, but they’ve helped me and a lot of other people carry on and find joy again.

Seemed wishy-washy or too simple to work at first, but given half a chance, affirmations led me down a different path and inspired me to hone many precious life skills, like emotional resilience, patience, compassion, generosity, and peace.

Finding your own “I am” statements can empower you to make healthy choices and help you relate to intense emotions in new ways. You can speak them, write them, meditate on them, draw them, and make them into a mantra for your life after loss.

Using affirmations is a creative outlet and a way to give your grief meaning and your new life direction. It can be part of your resilience training: encouraging you to slowly open your heart to the beauty that’s still left around you; encouraging you to remake your perspective to see the goodness in life — that’s so often easier to see for others than it is for ourselves.

That said, it takes a lot of time and heart to lay claim to this new life, after loss.

The devastation of losing someone or something you love is nothing to put an emotional bandaid on. It is not something you can override with a special potion or pretend never happened. It’s raw and it’s real and it requires your loving attention.

I can attest, that the very last thing you feel in that moment is promise. That your pain is survivable. That the ashes of your past will spark new life. That you’re standing on sacred ground: square one. But it’s one of the truest things I know.

I wrote an email to a reader the other day, telling them how “I enjoy bringing the pain of my past into the present, in a way that makes the world around me a more beautiful place.”

That wasn’t an easy affirmation to follow, but, gradually, I shaped my life around that belief, that hope.

Healing doesn’t happen overnight.

If your grief is fresh, it’s all you can do to make it through a day. Turning your pain into something useful — for yourself and for others — is a skill sharpened over time. It’s not something you rush.

I’m sharing these grief affirmations with the knowledge that not all will speak to you and the season of grief you’re standing in (but maybe they will). We each of us have our own pasts, and our own ways of handling and healing difficult emotions.

These thoughts and sentiments are an extension of my own process of becoming better instead of bitter. They’re pieces of the story I’m still writing.

(I hope to write another book of affirmations that focuses on giving your grief time, attention, meaning, and compassion. If you’re interested in that, please let me know.)

I hope this serves you, wherever you are in *your* process.

There’s a reason, a time and place for everything we feel. We hurt because it mattered. We grieve because we’ve loved. Being human means being awake to every season and storm we walk through, and finding what helps us get through “the worst” without giving up or turning to stone. See if these grief affirmations help you do that.

9 Grief Affirmations for Feeling and Healing the Difficult Emotions

1. I always thought I wanted to be perfect, but my grief has taught me to be human instead.

2. I know sadness and despair; I know failure and defeat. I also know courage and survival and humanity. Mine is a story of hope for someone (even if that someone is me). 

3. My heart is big enough to hold everything I feel; everyone I've ever loved; every season of my life.

4. Their breath become my own. Their light become my own. Their heart live on in mine. Their life carry on through me.

5. I am grateful for the strength to carry their spirit forward into this new chapter.

6. "If I must fall, I will rise each time a better person.” (paraphrased from Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer)

7. When I look at my pain, I look with compassion. When I look into my past, I look with forgiveness. When I look inside myself, I look with patience. When I look at the world, I look for ways to give. When I look at my memories of you, I find you here with me still.

8. I may never be the same, but what I loved remains part of me.

9. "Although life will never be the same, it can somehow still be good." (A reader wrote me that. Brilliant.)

. . .

Tell me:

Which of these grief affirmations spoke to you?

Would you like me to focus more of my energy on writing a book of grief affirmations?

Tell me in the comments. I’d really, really like to know.

In solidarity,

Jen

P.S. If you want to take better care of your life after loss, pick one of my affirmation books to be part of your support system.

Comments on this post (9)

  • Apr 05, 2021

    Angie, may you be free. <3

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Apr 03, 2021

    “Life will never be the same…”
    I lost my marriage for over two years, and annulment from him failed. I choose to remain this way because I will no longer bring back the moments I had with him. Life will never be the same yet if pockets allow law of the land is possible, I as take turn the demand of legally breaking the knot—this is the least I can do when law of Lord is yet uncertain.
    …expectant as I am that life ahead still offers good.

    ANGIE

    — Angelie Supremo Naquila

  • Mar 14, 2021

    Anita, you are such a beautiful person. I can feel your light through what you’ve written here. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your precious sister, your person, your best friend. May you feel the love and support of those around you, and your sister’s presence with you still, and always. I don’t think a love like that can just go away. It persists. It becomes part of everything you are and every expression of love you give. Thank you for trying, because I know it’s no easy thing. Sending you all my love. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Mar 14, 2021

    Affirmation #4 – This had the greatest impact on me. My sister, who was my best friend, my life, died after a routine surgery 6 months ago. I have sunk into such a deep depression and I don’t want to be so depressed. I’m searching for peace in my heart and soul and when I read that affirmation, it resonated with me. My sister is within me…she has never left me….her physical being may not be here, but our souls are forever connected. I want to celebrate and honor her beautiful life; I will continue to read all of your affirmations in an effort to move towards healing.

    Thank you!

    — Anita

  • Feb 28, 2021

    Talena, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your precious son. My heart goes out to you. May you feel the kindness of strangers, the comfort of his presence as you take one day at a time, and peace whenever possible. <3

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Feb 26, 2021

    Affirmation #9 – “Although life will never be the same, it can somehow be good.” That really speaks to me. It gives me hope for the future because all I can feel right now is sadness. On Oct. 2, 2020 my 25 year old son died unexpectedly. My life has been turned upside down and it feels as if it will never be right again.

    — Talena

  • Feb 13, 2021

    I may never be the same, but what I loved remains a part of me.
    HOW TRUE!

    — Linda

  • Jan 24, 2021

    Bonnie, I’m so glad and grateful these words could reach you. You’re right, struggle is too soft a word. Sometimes, there are no right words to capture the totality of what we go through when we’ve had such a tremendous loss. My heart is with you, and I wish you small moments of peace this year as you carry on with your husband in your heart.

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Jan 24, 2021

    First what brought me here was I had a dream last night and all I could remember was “If you ant a seed it will grow”. So I did a Google search.
    I lost my husband 6mths ago to brain cancer. I’ve put on a brave face for everyone but myself. Struggle is too soft of a word to describe it.

    I was reading these beautiful and this one made me cry:
    When I look at my pain, I look with compassion. When I look into my past, I look with forgiveness. When I look inside myself, I look with patience. When I look at the world, I look for ways to give. When I look at my memories of you, I find you here with me still.
    Beautiful and so true!
    Thank you,
    Bonnie

    — Bonnie

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