The grieving process is complicated, and by no means is it one size fits all. Some of you might be new to experiencing grief, for example, going through a divorce, or you may be grieving the loss of a loved one. Confronting my own grieving due to loss and also working as a divorce lawyer in Bergen County, New Jersey, and a family law attorney in Monmouth County, New Jersey, I have witnessed many ways to harness the power of positivity amid grief. Whatever your situation may be, below are three ways to utilize the power of positivity in grief:

1.Avoid “Toxic Positivity”

This is a new buzzword that seemingly emerged within the past year. Toxic positivity is best described as ignoring one’s honest feelings about grief (or any other negative emotion), and instead, focusing on the positive. Things such as “look on the bright side” or “just stay positive” may be repeated to you by others. Even though they mean no harm, this form of advice can actually be counterproductive. Toxic positivity encourages you to ignore your true, innermost feelings about grief. People may tell you to ignore the storm and focus on the rainbows (metaphorically speaking), but the fact remains that rainbows cannot exist without a storm. 

2.Honor Your Emotions

At some point, we have all experienced the loss of a loved one, dealing with a divorce, or losing someone special to us. Grief is a process that doesn’t look the same for everyone. There are several stages of grief, and it is not linear. One person may be in the denial phase during the end of the process, while another may experience acceptance in the beginning. It is important to be present with yourself and honor every emotion you’re experiencing. Take as much time as necessary to heal, and do not ignore or attempt to cover up your grief.

3.Find a Support System

Dealing with grief is not easy, especially if you are attempting to do it alone. Locating a grief support system is critical for the healing process to take place. Grief support groups can be found at local hospitals, churches, or through a Google search in your area. The support of others who have experienced, or are experiencing grief can definitely be a great benefit and assistance to you. If you disagree with confiding in a support group, you may want to reach out to a trusted friend or family member to vent and express your feelings toward and help you seek further professional help. No one is ever prepared for grief. The sudden rush of heartache, anxiety, stress and negative emotions can overcome the best of us. Learn to lean on others for support during this difficult time. 

In closing, losses in life can evoke feelings of grief, and these emotions can be challenging. Be present with yourself and honor your feelings. Understand that grief is not linear; therefore, try your best to cope with the emotions as they come and seek professional help to overcome them.


This article contains general information and opinions from Sheena Burke Williams and is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. No reader of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information included in this article without seeking legal advice of counsel. Sheena Burke Williams expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any content in this article.