In the past three years, 57 percent of Americans have experienced a major loss.
That means that every other person you meet has likely gone through the intense emotional and physical responses to grief and their life has been significantly altered.
When someone gets the news that a loved one is ill and the prognosis is grim, there’s no right way to react and no clear steps to follow. Losing a loved one, or receiving news that a loved one is near death, is a lot to process for anyone.
Some may immediately react with sadness and visible tears, and others may be caught off guard by out-of-character rage. Some may develop severe weight loss, and others may suffer from other physical responses, such as broken heart syndrome.
When someone is going through a period of grief, it’s overwhelming—a dark mountain looming in their path. And unfortunately, there is no way forward other than to begin climbing the mountain of healing.
Many of us going through the loss of a loved one are not sure how to begin processing the information. Do we sit helplessly through the tears? Or do we run away from our feelings and cope with any way we know how?
What do we say to someone who just learned that their child has unexpectedly passed away or that their sibling has terminal cancer?
How do we react when someone lets you know that their beloved cat and companion of the last 17 years is no longer alive?
It’s not always about knowing the right thing to say.
Someone going through intense grief just needs an acknowledgment that someone is listening. That someone is there listening, sitting with, and supporting them through the hardest days of their life.
The last thing anyone should be feeling when they’re going through a loss is isolated.
Grief Blogs Creating Community for Those Experiencing a Loss in Their Life
I’ve developed a list of 11 of my favorite grief blogs across the web, so that if you or someone you know is in the midst of a loss, standing at the base of the mountain, you have helpful resources to turn to and recommend for others.
When you need to know that someone else has been where you are right now, and has come out the other side—or maybe they’re walking along the corridor of grief at the same point you are—you can find them in the blogs below.
Diary of a Widower
Diary of a Widower began as a blog when Tim Overdiek’s wife, Jennifer, passed away in Holland after an unfortunate and completely unexpected accident. Tim’s vulnerability and heartache are palpable in his blog, which was later published into a book.
He accounts for the time spent after Jennifer passed away and how he and his two sons continued in the land of the living, their lives changed forever. Tim’s content is refreshing for any man or mourner experiencing pain.
The Grief Healing Blog
Marty Tousley is a grief counselor for nearly two decades and, in addition to having a presence on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, uses the Grief Healing blog as a way to write about nearly every topic regarding grief under the sun.
If you are experiencing grief over family members, such as the loss of a child, helping grieving children, or would like to learn how to communicate about grief with a child, teenager, or young adult, this is a fantastic place to start the conversation.
The Grief Recovery Method Blog
The Grief Recovery Institute was founded in the mid-1980s and the Grief Recovery Method Blog is run by the organization as a resource for anyone experiencing various types of grief, from grief after suicide to grief after a divorce.
The Grief Recovery team is a team of experts who live all around the world and have studied bereavement and how to walk alongside those living with loss.
Grieving Dad’s Project
Keith Farley started the Grieving Dad’s Project in early 2010, after years of struggling with grief and depression after losing both of his children, a daughter and a son.
Keith realized that in our society, it isn’t easy for men to express their emotions and explore their grief. Leading with his vulnerability, Keith started blogging about his family’s significant loss and their path toward change.
He shares his own experiences of living while grieving his children and also helps other men share their stories, whether that’s as bereaved parents or otherwise. After years of helping men explore life after loss, Keith also wrote a book entitled Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back.
Heartlinks Grief Center Blog
Heartlinks Grief Center is a home for any griever looking for refuge and support during a time of grief and loss. They offer information on events to encourage folks against isolation and post monthly on their blog, where the grief-stricken can share their stories of both challenge and hope.
They also make grief resources available on their information page, where you can download brochures on grief and bereavement and find supportive communities.
Open to Hope
With over 10K readers, Open to Hope is a testament to how not-alone you are. The nonprofit has over 500 articles and resources that exist beyond the web, in podcasts, on television, and in books as well.
With upwards of 530 individual authors, you’ll hear from people with experiences both alike and different from your own, who are willing to share their own stories which can help you heal.
Regardless of whether you’ve experienced the death of a child, parent, sibling, or friend, you’ll find content by authors who understand the difficult times ahead of you first-hand. And yes, you can submit your own story as a griever, if writing is a healing tactic you’d like to try.
Option B is named after the book by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, which was written after her husband’s sudden passing. Sandberg writes about what she learned in the aftermath about grief, healing, and the cultural conversations and stigmas that occur during those times.
The Option B website offers fantastic insight and advice for grief of all sorts, and their Instagram is a safe haven of like-minded individuals lifting one another up.
Pallimed is a hospice and palliative medicine grief blog that tackles the stages of grief for the professionals taking care of those who have passed. There are several hundred articles to review as you’re becoming more educated on grief.
The Pallimed blog explores the many different facets of grief: grief in the arts and humanities, the ethics of palliative care, reviews of articles focusing on palliative care, and more.
A majority of the contributors speaking about palliative care on Pallimed are physicians, nurse practitioners, or PhDs, so there is a great amount of knowledge on grief, specifically as it relates to palliative care.
This blog is a fantastic resource for people in the healthcare field looking for a support system of professionals who understand the emotional toll these roles take.
Refuge in Grief
On Megan Devine’s blog, Refuge in Grief, she offers compassion and support, helping visitors learn skills that will help them with their grief.
A regular contributor to podcasts, Megan helps unveil a more approachable side of grief, her content making it a bit easier for grievers to come forward during difficult times. She dives into the type of grief that’s linked with suicide and substance abuse.
A psychotherapist since 2001 with first-hand experience in loss and heartache, Megan not only leads courses on skills to practice during bereavement but also hosts a podcast.
If you or a loved one is concerned with suicide prevention, Megan’s content on grief during difficult times is well worth the read/listen.
Still Standing is a beautifully designed online publication that offers space for the bereaved to explore different stories of others living in the aftermath of the death of a child.
To have a child die is what many like to describe as an inexplicable pain. Unfortunately, many more parents know this pain all too intimately. Still Standing is a beacon of light in darkness for those going through the loss of a child.
With topics including miscarriage, child loss grief, the loss of an adult child, and supporting a friend who has lost a child, there are several personal stories in this magazine to prove that regardless of where you are in your grief recovery, you are not alone.
What’s Your Grief?
What’s Your Grief? is spearheaded by two mental health professionals with over 20 years of experience with grief and bereavement. With articles from the passing of time to the actual definition of grief itself, What’s Your Grief? offers low-cost resources like books, e-courses, and webinars.
What the Grief? explores all avenues of grief, like managing self-care during difficult times, supporting mourners, how to move on as a parent or widow(er), and how to support friends with a miscarriage or stillbirth. It also has a section devoted to grieving children.
If you’re interested in turning your grief into a learning opportunity to better understand yourself and your experience, What’s Your Grief? is a great place to start.
Being Vulnerable isn’t Easy
There are many people in pain from grief. And many people are going through it alone, without the help of loved ones who “get it.”
Expressing pain can be difficult. And it’s so hard to take the first step when we’re in a dark place.
Luckily, resources like the blogs above exist, many of which were started by people just like you who have experienced a loss in their own life. With these resources, you and those you know going through grief can begin the road to healing on your terms, in your own time.
If you’d like to see more resources on grief, scroll down to see some of Elephant’s best grief articles.