coping

Grief Means More Than You Think: 3 Reasons We Grieve

Grief is not an everyday word. But maybe it should be. Google Dictionary defines it as a “deep sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death,” and that’s mostly how we use it. Only on the doleful, rainy days of a funeral do we allow ourselves the time to actually stop and grieve. But there are other events, occasions, or happenings when it is okay, and even beneficial, to embrace the deep sorrow we naturally feel when we lose something. The act of mourning appropriately acknowledges loss and allows the mourner to move on in a healthy manner. In other words, grieving is an opportunity, and too often we deny ourselves the chance to mourn.

1. You can grieve the loss of a relationship.

It is natural for friends to come and go. Like glaciers drifting apart slowly over time, friends often float down differing canals due to the intrinsic currents of life. When pals part ways, sweethearts break up, or a relationship changes for the worst, take the needed time to grieve the loss. Don’t allow insecurity or a broken heart to deter you from wisely navigating the impacts of a damaged bond.

2. You can grieve the loss of innocence.

Regret from a major blunder often hounds us in the aftermath and instills a fear so great that we bury the aching memory deep inside. Rather than avoiding or coping unhealthily with the loss of innocence, embrace the reality of the situation and grieve appropriately. Everybody makes mistakes, and it is okay to go through a season of grief for a loss of innocence. You are not your mishaps, and they cannot define your future without your consent. Mourn the loss, and bury the memory fittingly.

3. You can grieve the loss of an objective.

A strong vision casted can offer hope and motivation as we fight passionately to succeed. Often, however, passion and vision aren’t enough, and, for whatever reason, we don’t attain the results we desire. Before rushing to the next big idea, take time to grieve your loss. Through a mourning season, not only can you lay to rest the hurt of supposed failure, but you can recognize your mistakes, learn from them, and emotionally ready yourself for future attempts.


Despite a suppressive culture, allow yourself the opportunity to grieve your losses, whatever they may be. Like holding a funeral, allowing a season of mourning can offer a stronger sense of inner peace and liberation for future possibilities. The singe of pain will often remain, but the pain can only bind if we allow it. And, like a crisp dawn, mourning laments the night while celebrating new day. It’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to make grief an everyday word if it can help us attain the peace we need to move forward.

How to Cope When a Friendship Ends

Like money, friendships don’t just grow on trees.

The pain of losing a friendship can hurt even deeper than the sting of ending a romantic pursuit. In the dating scene, potential lovers enter with an understanding that it just...might not work. “We’re taking it slow,” they say, “Seeing what happens.”

Friends, on the other hand, can click instantly, dive deep impulsively, and a friendship can feel so natural that both are certain it was meant to be. Not having the same cushion of expectation to soften blows of dissension, the unique intimacy found among friends can make it devastating when trust is broken, calls are left to voicemail, texts are ignored, or a friend is made an ex with a conclusive Facebook message. We are left with the question, how does someone cope when a friendship ends?

There are many reasons, both good and bad, to end a relationship. But, whether you are the one moving on or the one being moved on from, allow a friendship ended to challenge you toward inward reflection, then encourage you toward outward reaction.

First, this is an opportunity to reflect. Be careful not to let the hurt you feel blind you to appropriately considering the hurt you may have caused. None of us are perfect. What were some ways in which you contributed to the dispute? What can you learn from this situation? Don’t rob yourself of the chance to grow personally or neglect this opportunity for self-reflection. Reflecting humbly will not only help to make a positive out of a negative, bring hope from despair, and give meaning to the unknown; it will mature you and equip you to move forward appropriately.

Second, this is an opportunity to act. Mourn the loss of a friendship, but focus your energy on cultivating new ones. See a Brave counselor, if necessary, to help navigate the sometimes painful and challenging transition. Friendships don’t grow on trees, but like trees, friendships change with every season. It’s natural for them to grow and to die. Though there is grief when an intimate friend withers to a mere acquaintance, there is someone somewhere who has the potential to become an intimate friend. And you can’t know which one until you simply ask them out to coffee, plant a few seeds in fresh soil, and apply what you learned from a fallen tree before.