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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Moving From Grief to Grace: Tools to Ease Sorrow

Nov 30, 2022 09:31AM ● By Angela Craig

Grieving is a universal part of life. After the loss of a loved one, the discovery of helpful, hopeful and healing tools and practices can support us in moving from grief to grace. There are no rules or timelines when it comes to the grieving process, and there certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all method for easing sadness. Exploring a combination of different practices, over time, can help to soften the edges and ease our sorrow ever so slowly.

The following practices may be worth exploring:

Journaling: A journal practice is one way to allow our innermost voice to stream unfettered. It can feel almost like a sacred space to spend a short time in with our lost loved one. The benefits can be astounding.

A meditation practice: The simple practice of breathing, growing quiet and going within can open doors we never knew existed.

A gratitude box: Renowned medium Hollister Rand believes that gratitude is an important component to connecting with our loved ones after their death. Filled with messages on slips of paper that connect us to a loved one, in ways only we know about, a gratitude box offers the simple exercise of pulling a message from the box and remembering our loved one in a way that can be soothing, comforting, uplifting and often puts a smile on our face.

Metaphysical books: Reading about other’s experiences of connecting with their loved ones can be one of the most healing and uplifting tools. There is no shortage of excellent titles to explore, including Messages from the Afterlife, by Mark Ireland, and The Light Between Us, by Laura Lynn Jackson.

Mala beads: A Mala bead practice is another form of meditation that can produce a sense of peace and calmness when our world has been turned up-side-down. The practice consists of completing one full breath (inhale and exhale) while touching each bead, moving around the strand for 108 breaths.

Talk therapy: Sharing with others in an on-line group, in person or with a grief therapist can take us to another healing place.

Signs: Learning to recognize signs from our loved ones is one of the most magical, mystical and heart-opening experiences. They can come in the form of a favorite song out of the blue, scents when we least expect them (perfume, cologne, cigar smoke, cooking smells, flowers), visuals such as a name or initials on a random car license plate or a message on a billboard or on the side of a van. When they arrive, we somehow just “know” that there is no other explanation for the unexpected timing of this compelling sign, and the brief connection with our loved one’s spirit soothes our soul.

When we allow our hearts to remain open after the loss of a loved one, grief has gifts to offer in the form of compassion, connection, personal growth, gratitude and the comforting possibility that this life is not all there is. Grief writer Chelsea Ohlemiller reminds us, “The only reason we have an empty space is because we were blessed with someone who loved us so beautifully it occupied an entire part of our soul.”

The tools and practices that Angela Craig used after losing her husband of 33 years led her to develop Spiritual Care Packages, toolboxes to nourish the grieving heart and soul. The contents of each box are carefully curated by her to help people overcome their profound loss. Learn more at