Focusing on Gratitude to Overcome the Loss of a Loved One

Q: “I’ve had 3 of my closest relatives die in the past 3 years. Whenever someone talks about a person dying I feel so much pain. How can I get over this pain?”


I am so sorry to hear about the loss of so many people that were very close to you. It is hard when people we love and enjoy having around are no longer here. I can relate.

When I think about my Dad not being alive and not able to be a physical part of my life, I become sad.

I allow myself to feel that sadness, but I choose not to stay sad.  Even though there are moments when the pain of the loss of my dad fills my mind and I relive the moment I found out he died, I make a conscious choice to redirect my thoughts and my focus. Choosing to stay in the pain or living in the past would make it very hard for me to enjoy my life or to enjoy the people around me that are still here.  I also know that my Dad wouldn’t want me to chose to stay sad.

The majority of the time I choose to focus on the fact that I am grateful I had my dad in my life for as long as I did. I remember the wonderful times we shared and I know that he is around me, even though it may not be physically.  Choosing to have this as my focus, allows me to continue to live my life with gratitude and joy.

There will always be moments when a painful memory slips into my mind or a time when I just have to cry. I allow myself to feel the emotion and to release that emotion in a healthy way like crying or talking with someone. Then I choose to focus on what gifts I received from having him be a part of my life.


If you are feeling sad and overwhelmed, I’d encourage you to write and express how you are feeling in a letter, poem, song, or story. Write to your loved ones that have passed. Share your thoughts, feeling and memories. I wrote a letter to my Dad after he passed and found it healing to get my thoughts from my head and heart onto paper. This is also a healthy way to release your emotions.

Once you have written what you would like to say – there are lots of things you can do with the letter:

  1. You could keep it in a special box somewhere safe
  2. If you don’t want to keep it you could chose to tear it up and let it go
  3. You could share it with someone close to you.

You are still here on this earth and you have things to do. Your loved ones would want you to live with happiness and a zest for life. It can be painful at times, but choose to feel your emotions and release them in a healthy way so that you can keep moving forward with loving memories in your heart!

Until next time…


Sara Signature

If a young person you know needs extra support, please check out these helpful resources: