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I resolve to ...

Not place time limits on my grief—it will take as long as it takes.

Acknowledge my grief as my own—that it is as individual as I am and will take shape in its own unique way.

Not be pressured by “shoulds” because, although people usually mean well, pressuring me to do something I'm not comfortable with is not what is always in my best interest.

Cut myself some slack and honor changes I go through, such as when I behave in ways uncharacteristic of my usual self, remembering that there is a "new me" slowly forming from my loss and I am still finding my way.

Accept that others may not understand my pain, and it is not realistic to expect that of them. Until one has walked the path, how can one truly know the terrain? (And would I even want them to know?)

Extend to myself the same grace and patience I would to others were they in my situation, for I too am often walking on unknown terrain. I will practice more "self-compassion."

Express my feelings without guilt and not apologize for tears. (Stop saying "I'm sorry" when I cry or get sad.)

Be grateful for concerned others who willingly just listen with a loving and nonjudgmental heart, for I know those moments are gifts given to me from them.

Respect that grief has a life of its own and not fight it when it comes.

Recognize that asking for help or support of others allows them the opportunity to give because people often don't know what to do but want to do something. It might also give them a     chance to deal with their own sadness while also feeling good about helping me.

Forgive those who say or do things which feel hurtful, recognizing that unkindness is hardly ever intended.

Find some little way each day to begin to reinvest in life in an effort to move toward hope and a sense of purpose.

Continue to speak my loved one’s name, tell our stories, and embrace my memories. This will help keep my loved     one's memory alive.

Spend time with people who are easy to be with, even if it means putting in a little effort to connect with those who make me feel supported.

Plan opportunities for remembrance by thinking of ways to formally keep my loved one's memory     alive and honor his or her life.

Reprinted by permission of author, Susan Whitmore Founder & CEO of

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