“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.
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.)
. . .
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.
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.