How To Grieve With Grace: 2 Important Things To Remember

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Learning how to grieve with grace is a valuable skill, now more than ever. In fact, how you approach grief and loss can impact your personal and professional life.

Grieving with grace doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but you can improve your response to both your own grief and that of those around you.

My own accountability partner, Jennifer Takagi, has the tools you need to get started.

RELATED: The 5 Stages Of Grief — Plus 6 We Don't Realize Are Part Of The Grieving Process

The founder of Takagi Consulting, Jennifer is a speaker and author who helps business leaders cultivate highly productive environments.

She also has a unique story that can teach you something about the grieving process.

On April 19, 1995, Jennifer woke up sick. She debated going into work, but a soft, gentle voice whispered, "Stay home and take care of yourself."

The voice was affirming, so she called in sick. Shortly after, the Oklahoma City bombing destroyed the building she worked in and 35 of her co-workers perished, leaving Jennifer to struggle through why she was spared.

In the months that followed, she and her surviving co-workers rebuilt the business. In the process, they encountered different types of leaders.

Some leaders acknowledged that the survivors of the attack couldn’t leave their emotions at the door when they returned to work, and approached them with compassion and understanding.

Meanwhile, other leaders put blinders on, pushing through as normal.

The difference was marked.

Then, 13 years later, Jennifer’s parents passed away, just 12 days apart. With what she experienced previously coupled with that experience, she became even more aware of the grieving process, leading her to write a book on the subject.

Here are 2 important things she wants you to know about how to grieve with grace.

1. Grief is not a linear process.

Grief is a natural part of life, often causing physical pain. And just like how people heal from physical illness or injury differently, don’t expect a paint-by-number, formulaic process with grief.

Grief is not linear but a personal journey, one that needs to be respected by others.

When you grieve, it’s important to remember that people may not be going through what you’re going through, which means they may not remember or understand every detail of your pain.

The same goes for you when a friend or colleague is grieving. Allow people to be where they are, and remind yourself that they’re not going to grieve like you do. Then, give them grace.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Ease The Pain Of The Grief Process After The Loss Of A Parent

2. Grief is integrated into life.

The fact is, people don’t leave their grief at home. Be willing to hear, see, and take in another person’s journey where they are.

When you can do this, you have the opportunity to treat loved ones, friends, and coworkers in a way that honors their grief.

Be aware of others’ needs as a whole and not just what they can bring to your relationship or project.

Don’t be critical. Instead, be compassionate.

Learning how to grieve with grace is a timely lesson right now.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all experiencing collective grief. From the loss of loved ones and community members, to job transitions and economic losses, to missed milestones — everyone is affected in some way.

As people start going back to school, work, and "regular" life, they will bring whatever bubbled up during COVID-19 with them.

Jennifer Takagi believes we need to know that the old ways of supporting each other no longer work.

If you don’t recognize others’ feelings, you’re missing the moment.

This makes understanding grief a timely lesson for today.

Make it a goal to support others. The fact is, no matter what they’re going through, if you give others the tools to succeed, they will.

And if they aren’t able, you can be the one who reminds them of their worth, even amidst difficult times.

Together, we can approach grief and loss with grace.

RELATED: How To Mourn The Loss Of Someone You Don’t Know

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Hilary DeCesare is the Founder and CEO of The ReLaunch Co. She’s appeared on ABC’s The Secret Millionaire and on major news outlets such as CBS, ABC, Fox, Huffington Post, and Yahoo, and offers several ReLaunch courses and coaching. To connect with her directly or for media requests, please e-mail hello@therelaunchco.com.

This article was originally published at The ReLaunch Co.. Reprinted with permission from the author.