How do you escape from your grief? We all know that it can be overwhelming at times and it's only natural to seek ways to get away from it. Some feel guilty for trying to take a break. Others run fast and try to never look back.

What positive things have you done to bring yourself some relief from your pain? What have you done that you know was not the healthiest way to go about it? Where is that middle ground where you achieve that much deserved relief, without having your behaviors be hurtful or damaging to your relationship?

Remember that you can be anonymous here and I can assure you there is little I haven't already heard or done myself. Thanks!


  1. When my son died, I had the Christmas break before I went back to work. I was, in a word, useless. I should have taken time off, but I didn't. I "worked" for months with very low productivity or quality of work.

    To escape, I ran here - the internet. Surfing for ages, stumbleupon became my new friend.

    Outside of this, I played video games, read books, and generally tried to keep the rudder around to get my boat sailing the direction it had been when Gabriel died.

    One might say my latest relief is getting head-hunted from my job, and accepting the offer to leave my place of comfort and stability to go somewhere different. To get away from those who didn't say anything about my son beyond about 6 weeks past his death.

  2. I don't know that since October I have ever truely managed to escape from my grief. I can't run from it or hide away from it. It is everywhere so I try to address it.

    There are things which I have done which have helped. I have made a few short videos for Emma. On some of them I played the piano for the background music. I just put some images of Emma or my family or things which seem right.

    I have tried to do more exercise because I find that it gives me a chance to think. It has helped with just getting on with things. I cycle and the rythm of the pedals and the beautiful countryside help to clear my mind. I love it because it lets me go back to feeling numb. The few books I read after Emma's death talked about the feelings I could face. I wish they had mentioned numb. Numb is a freeing feeling for me, where I don't feel guilt that I can't fix things, I don't feel sadness or happiness. Numb is just getting on and doing. Cycling gives a chance to just be me. The other good thing is that it tires me out so that I have a better chance of sleeping (because I tend to find that all the emotions crash in on me when I am trying to sleep).

    The other thing which has helped loads has been going to see a counsellor. Just having my feelings validated has been really healing.

    I am not sure I have really answered your post here Tim. But I hope my thoughts make some sort of sense.

    Emma's Daddy

  3. Both of these posts are perfect. Your honesty and openness are exactly what others need to be able to read. Some people have more difficulty expressing their feelings and I think will find these very helpful. Thanks.

  4. I have gotten back to running. There's something about the physicality and feeling that gives me the ability to push feelings into a corner and remember what it's like to "be" again.

    I went to party with some people last weekend. Everyone was young and hopeful. They were figuring out the future: where they were going to travel, what they'd do, looking for someone to love etc, etc. I felt like an imposter smiling and talking about things like that. I think that's the anti-escape, being around hope and happiness like that.

  5. I'm only three weeks into this grief, but I, too, find the only solace or escape to be had so far is hard exercise--for me it's running. I find lots of comfort and healing in other things, but for *escape* only running works because as Emma's daddy put it, I can just be numb. No hurting, no complex guilt about trying to avoid the hurting... no mental activity, period. Just tuning into the rhythm of my body and taking in the scenery. I, too, find that it's the only thing that helps with the insomnia--another phenomenon that's completely new to me.

  6. Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help deal with your grief. The chemicals created in the body, along with the other physical benefits of exercise, are a great stress reliever. Hopefully, it will even help with the sleeplessness that a lot of grievers experience.

    I think it is also good to seek out situations where people are hopeful and excited about their future. While it is certainly understandable if you don't want to be in those moments with others, it is important to remember that your happiness will one day return. There is nothing wrong with that and I firmly believe our children would want that for us.

    Bottom line is, it's OK to do just about anything that works for you. But keep in mind that if it is a behavior that is potentially damaging (physically or emotionally) to you or your family, you might want to rethink it and possibly seek help from a professional who understands human behaviors. I can personally speak to the fact that seeking professional help is not only something you should never feel embarassed about,it can be life changing. Don't shut the door on anything that might help you regain your footing and be able to live fully again.