How to do the Letting Go Part of Grief

How to do the Letting Go Part of Grief (2)

I find myself facing the transitory nature of life again. In 2016-2017, I had two friends die. Last month in February, another one joined the light. I am in a mixed state of denial, shock and intermittent sadness. You would think it gets easier to grieve when you have had a lot of practice with it such as myself, it doesn’t. Each grief experience is unique and takes you into the depths of your being. A part of yourself dies because you no longer have that shared physical experience and memory of being together.

Life is all about holding on and letting go

I have found the letting go part scary and at times I have not been very good at it. I want to recreate and sit with the memories a little bit longer. I read old texts, emails and look at photos in an effort to grab a hold of that old connection once more. Then the realization sweeps over me and the pain of the loss sets in.

I reach out but find I can’t make or control certain family members to care more. I try to force a square peg into a round hole and find myself tense up when it does not work according to my plan. I want to assure you, this is normal in the beginning stages of grief. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you adjust to a new reality. Overtime, this tensing up and holding on can translate into body pains, sleep difficulties and irritability. This is when you need to let go…

 Tips to let go

1.) Awareness– Know your own signs of holding on too tight. Are you are an obsessive thinker or doer? Learn your body signals and see where you resist letting go. A couple of days after the loss of my friend, I received a message from spirit telling me; “Relax, you don’t always have to be going someplace.”

2.) Don’t think about it, just do it – Choose to let go and take a leap of faith. Do not intellectualize the letting go. Rather than focusing on how to do it, be present with releasing. Start by surrendering to your breath. Breathe in and state, “I am calm.” Breath out and state, “I let go.” You will need to practice letting go many times as it is not a natural process for most people.

3.) Remind yourself, it is safe to let go. Often our fears make letting go worse than the reality is. Believe and trust you are safe. You may need to tell yourself, “I am safe or it is safe to let go now.”

4.) Remember how letting go can feel positive. When you have fully healed and let go, you are left with a feeling of joy, release and freedom. Think back to when you were a child and rode a bike unassisted or stood up on ice skates to move on your own.

In letting go, you trust and release the emotional pain. What remains is the love, memories and spiritual connection. Now you are open to a new way of living. If you need more help through the grieving process check out these blogs:

Coping with the unexpected death of a friend  (grief, sudden loss, friend, PTSD, complicated grief, empath)

5 Powerful Ways of Finding Freedom from Empathic Guilt (petloss, guilt, empath)

This blog is dedicated to my friend Gary who would have been 63 years old today when this blog was published on March 6th. He died from a courageous battle with esophageal cancer on February 3, 2018. Thank you Gary for shining your light upon my life.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Unresolved grief or loss is one of the many ways your energy becomes depleted overtime. Lisa specializes in working with professionals who get drained from their helping/caring efforts, refill and recharge their energy.  Visit her website and get a FREE gift- 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at  

33 thoughts on “How to do the Letting Go Part of Grief

  1. Hi Lisa, So sorry for your loss. Grief is always a challenge to experience. And you’re right, letting go is a huge part of it. I am sure that writing is also helping your own process of grief. Much love and light as you heal.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Having dealt with a great deal of loss and going through the process of grief, I resonated with your words, “Each grief experience is unique and takes you into the depths of your being.” Letting go, I agree – is powerful. I just lost a very close friend last week and this experience is different than others. It’s a process, but one required if we wish to live in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a similar experience Barb. I felt it I let go of the pain, I would let go of the person’s spirit. I have found that only kept me stuck. The best way we can honor those we love is to let go of the pain and live a good life.


  3. Appreciating your gentle reminder, Lisa, “…Remember how letting go can feel positive.”
    And comforting prayers and virtual hugs are attached to you as you move through this portal of grief. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh, grief. It is so much part of our human experience and yet it can feel like it tears us apart from this world and who we are. I find that the letting go part just happens the more I allow myself to sit and experience my grief without judgement and resistance.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa, my condolence on the loss of your friend. I too recently loss a friend to cancer. She did everything to live. In face, she emailed us a week before she died, letting us know she WANTED TO LIVE in capital letters.
    We were in shock when we found out that she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

    There are so many emotions that go through you at the same time. And it’s all OK. I’ve no shame in feeling the way I feel and if someone says to me “she was better off” I just nod my head and move on. I have no desire to explain myself to others.

    Wishing you find peace in this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Claudette for your condolences and I extend a warm hug to you with your recent friend loss. I have found even though you know someone has cancer and as ill, it is still a shock to hear that they have passed. I felt the same with my friend, Gary. I know he wanted to live and could do a lot of good in this world. I believe he can do his good from the other side now yet I miss his physical presence. As I know you miss your friend. Many people do not know how to handle loss and grief, in their uncomfortable state will try to make it better, yet what is said creates disconnection and pain. I wish you much peace and healing also. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your experience.


    • You are welcome Jill. I am sorry for the loss of your Dad. Both of my parents are deceased, there are certain times, I feel their loss, it has been years since they passed. Overall, I connect with love. It is a process. Much love sent your way.


  6. My father passed away when I was only 19. It was the biggest loss and the most intense grief, I had and have ever experienced in my life. That grief stayed with me for many, many years and each February 15th was a very challenging day for me. Even though life is about letting go, sometimes it is harder than we can imagine. Even all these years later, I am not sure if I will ever completely get over his loss. Thank you, Lisa, for writing about your experience losing your dear friend, Gary. Although it gets easier as the days and years pass, sometimes the loss stays with us and changes us in ways we could never have imagined. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beverley, Anniversaries can be difficult, I have found each year is different. Some years are easier, while others the grief is strongly with me. I don’t feel anyone truly gets over the loss of a special person. We find a way to live without their physical presence, yet can not describe how to do it except through support and living one day at a time. You are welcome and thank you for sharing your experience. xx


  7. Life is all about holding on and letting go yes Lisa, often i find holding on something i do for too long, letting go and remembering the good memories with love and gratitude is so important. Sympathy hugs to you, sounds special xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Lisa, so sorry to read that in such a short space of time, you are grieving yet again the loss of someone special in your life.
    Its hard I know to let go. We who often are good at telling the world, often find we are deeply affected. Your friend is the same age as myself. And it brings it home to us just how fragile life is. And how we must start to live in the now and appreciate our Now Moments more with family and friends.

    Grief comes in many forms, be it that which you describe of a lost loved one or we grieve for the loss of the way of the world.. That has been my grief lately. The World. And knowing I can only change myself and nurture my own way in the world, is the only thing I can do..

    We sometimes have to step back and let go and nurture ourselves as we let go, but we pull in our inner child, the one that feels afraid and vulnerable..
    I am doing just that.. Sending love Lisa. and thank you so very much for your appreciate words that I found on my blog today xx
    ❤ Love and Light Sue xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for writing and posting these wise words so that others may benefit in their own grief, or their times of grieving. In a death denying culture, people often don’t have tools to understand the process of grieving including the experience that other friends and family members may be grieving in a different way or timing than our own. A very helpful and necessary perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Meghan for your condolences. You are welcome. Many in our culture deny death and the emotions involved in order to heal. I know by sharing a part of my experience it will be helpful to others who are grieving.


  10. Thank you for putting feelings into words, I’m so sorry for your loss. I too feel comfort in sharing my own experiences, especially if I feel as though I’m helping others. The denial stage seemed to be the longest for me, letting go was the hardest x


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