Bereavement is the act of feeling deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, especially due to the loved one’s death. Grief can be a difficult, painful and overwhelming process, but there are ways to move through it. This blog includes 8 healing tips for bereavement. I hope you find them helpful.
The first week of October brings back sad memories for me. I remember 4 years ago, it was this week that I went on a cleanse, had two speaking gigs, and was overall very busy.  I didn’t have hardly anytime to spend with my daughter, Maddie. She seemed particularly upset that I was doing a cleanse. 
Looking back, I believe she knew her final days to be alive were coming, and she yearned for me to be present. But she wasn’t ready to tell me she was dying. She gave me hints like at my last birthday with her in September when we all took a hayride to the cemetary and she asked, “Of the people here, who do you think will die next?” Eerie silence. I had no idea in one short month she’d be gone.
Maddie died of cystic fibrosis at the tender age of 22 on 10/26/18.  My life forever changed after that. I had to rewrite the landscape of my life to one that includes Maddie from another realm.
Do you need support for moving through grief? I’m teaching the Heal Your Heart Retreat which will give you an opportunity to get on a beautiful path to healing from the trauma of grief. See below to register.

Have You Lost Someone Who Was Your Everything?

Below are tips to help you understand yourself better and to ask for what you need during this time. 

There are various stages of grief. I incorporate in 2-8 below a combination of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief model and British psychiatrist Colin Murray Parkes’ model of grief, developed based on Bowlby’s theory of attachment, suggesting there are four phases of mourning when experiencing the loss of a loved one.

1. There Is No Right Or Wrong Way To Grieve

Everyone experiences grief in different ways and certain stages identified below will last longer than others.  The key point is that it is YOUR timeline, and there is no right or wrong amount of time to grieve, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Advice:  Don’t be pressured into anyone else’s timeline. Follow your own.

2. Shock And Denial


Whether a loss occurs suddenly or with some advanced notice, it’s possible to experience shock. You feel emotionally numb and may deny the loss.  For months after Maddie died, I kept shaking my head in disbelief, as I couldn’t believe this had happened.  I just couldn’t believe it was real that she was gone forever in physical presence.
Advice: Be aware of this feeling of numbness and know that it’s normal. Try not to resist it or think something is wrong with you.

3. Pain And Guilt

During this stage in grieving, the pain of the loss starts to set in. You may also feel guilty for needing more from family and friends during this emotional time.
I felt a lot of guilt over not spending enough time with Maddie, and not prioritizing her over work/business.  She told me a few months before she died, “Mommy, I’m not going to be around forever, you know.” These words have stuck with me.  At the time I felt manipulated and told her so, and I wish I would have been less defensive.
Advice: Process the feelings of guilt using Emotional Freedom Techniques a/k/a tapping.  I’m pretty sure our loved ones wouldn’t want us to feel guilty or believe we hadn’t done enough for them.

4. Anger And Bargaining

You may lash out at people you love or become angry with yourself. Or you might try to “strike a bargain” with a higher power, asking that the loss be taken away in exchange for something on your part.
My main experience of bargaining was before Maddie died.  She went into respiratory failure on Tuesday, October 23 and they had her on life support.  I rallied ministers and spiritual healers and others to pray for her, bless her, and do healings.
I got on Facebook and pleaded for everyone’s prayers.  I was “bargaining” with God to spare her life. Then on the day before we took her off of life support, a couple of my spiritual friends came to pray over her and bless her. When they came out of her hospital room, they said, “She’s ready to go.”  I knew in my heart they were right.
The anger came after Maddie died. It was mostly directed at people who didn’t know how to treat me after her death (I’ll explore this more on next week’s blog).
Advice: Anger is a signal to do something different which is a good thing, but we don’t want to continue to hold onto prolonged anger.  It’s not good for our health or mental state.

5. Depression And Loneliness

As you reflect on your loss, you may start to feel depressed or lonely. It is in this stage of grieving that you begin to truly realize the reality of your loss. Your reality has permanently shifted, and there is no going back to how it was.
When we feel powerless over changing our circumstances, we can feel depressed, hopeless and frustrated with our lives. It doesn’t feel fair and we may ask ourselves, “Why is this happening to me? I’m a good person. I don’t deserve this.”
 The Truth is that Life is NOT Fair 
For the record, I believe you are a good person, trying your best to navigate this bereavement. This isn’t fair. The Truth is that Life is NOT Fair.  It’s at this point, we have a decision to make.  Do we want to continue to be upset about and resist the nature of life and death?  It’s OK if you’re answer is yes.
For me, I don’t believe I became depressed in that I never lost hope for a brighter future even without Maddie in it. I was bestowed much love immediately after she passed, and I remember feeling alive and thinking, “Love comes from wherever it needs to come from. Maddie is not the only source of love.”
Love Never Dies
Even though Maddie and I won’t be loving each other in the flesh on this earthly plane, we will always love each other and be connected in our hearts which crosses over the physical plane. Love, like energy, is never destroyed. It simply changes form.
Advice:  Decide if it’s time to look at things in a new light, such as “Life is Happening, and it’s not against me.  Life and death are part of reality which I can’t change. I choose to move on with my loved one in my heart. I am NOT powerless.”

6. The Upward Turn

You begin to adjust to your new life, and the intensity of the pain you feel from the loss starts to reduce. At this point in the grieving process, you may notice that you feel calmer.
I recall people asked me how I was doing in the first six months.  I didn’t feel like I could say I was good, because that would be a betrayal of Maddie.  So I’d say I was OK. After 6 months, I began to feel some relief and could actually say I had some good days.  And I felt better about smiling.
Your mind and heart will adjust to the new experience of life without your loved one.
Advice: Rest assured that hope will return.  Be very, very patient with yourself.

7. Reconstruction And Working Through

This stage in grieving involves taking action to move forward. You begin to reconstruct your new normal, working through any issues created by the loss.
What made it difficult for me to move forward was that I felt I was leaving Maddie behind in my heart if I went on to do “business as usual.” She was too important to me to do that. I needed to honor her somehow.
It was right after the 6-month mark that I hired a medium to communicate with Maddie.  A few months before Maddie died, she asked me, “Mommy, when I die, will you hire Theresa Caputo (The Long Island Medium–a show we watched together)?” I said, “Maddie, don’t say that.  And besides, she probably has a two-year waiting list.”
So I hired a local medium, Catherine Hughes, on 5/2/19 and have used her services ever since 3 times/year.  It continues to bring me great relief and healing to really feel in my heart that Maddie’s spirit lives on.  Love never fails, as one of her tattoos stated.
Advice: If it aligns with our spiritual beliefs, hire a medium to communicate with your loved ones who have crossed over. Check out if you feel so inclined.

8. Acceptance And Hope

In this final stage of the grieving process, you begin to accept the loss and feel hope for what tomorrow might bring. It’s not that all your other feelings are gone, just more so that you’ve accepted them and are ready to move on.
For me, the way I found hope was by working with Catherine, the medium.  It may sound strange, but though Maddie is no longer here in her body that had become fragile and interfered with her quality of life, we are still connected. In fact, our relationship has grown stronger.  She transformed from one energy form (physical) to another (spirit).  I reconciled the problem in my mind with a new thought: “I will move forward WITH Maddie as my Angel Guide.”
I honor Maddie every day that I am well and strong and can help others. It is much easier to remember the good times now without falling apart.
Advice: Find a belief system that works for you and uplifts your heart.  When trying on a new belief, try not to get wrapped up in being able to prove whether it’s true.  Does that really matter? Only the EGO cares about proving. Our spirit doesn’t care.

Quote from “Healing After Loss–October 5th” (daily meditations for working through grief by Martha W. Hickman who lost her teenaged daughter)


“I sit on the rich moist earth, green earth, and draw my knees to my chest. All is not lost. The birds have simply moved on. They give me courage to do the same.–Terry Tempest Williams
At this time of year in some parts of our country, we begin to see the birds fly south for a long season. How do they know? How will they know to come back?
The answers are out of our hands. The processes of life go on, irrespective of our knowledge or ignorance. How reassuring that we don’t need to know, that the Creator who set the globes of the solar system spinning does know. And the birds do come back.
Can we extend the same trust to our experiences of loss and renewal? Can we watch birds go, in the expectation of their return?
Can we say goodbye to our loved ones, not in the expectation that they will come flying back in the spring, but that, in ways we cannot know, they will continue to be present to us, continue to love us, as we continue to love them?”
I am here to help. If you would like to work on any of these stages of grief and bereavement, I am here. See below to register for the Upcoming Heal Your Retreat.
Angie Monko,
Energy Healer & Self-Love Coach