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Dealing With The Burdens Of Loss: In These Difficult Times We Are All Consumed With Questions

By Tracy Renee Lee - Certified Grief Counselor

October 7, 2021

Whether you are a believer or not, try to communicate with a higher power. Christians call this prayer. Non-believers might call this meditation or intuition.

Through my practice as a grief counselor, I have met and spoken with many people who do not believe in a deity. To me, these individuals are the saddest survivors of all. When their loved ones die, they are quite often more confused, more wounded, and more afraid than survivors who are more spiritually leaning.

Initially, non-believer sessions are consumed with questions about the hereafter. As I observe them, I see that they are formulating an acceptable scenario within themselves about what has happened to their loved one and what will someday happen to them. After they reach a place of peace, I find that many of them, if not most of them, have transitioned to a place of spiritual growth. Although deity may remain ambiguous to them, they almost always accept that there is a higher power.

To assist my non-believing clients, I have established a four-step plan for them to practice in order to see if there is, or is not, a better place called the afterlife, a spiritual side to their being, and a God who loves and cares for human beings. It is an easy plan and one that if practiced brings comfort and clarity to those seeking recovery.

Step One:
Whether you are a believer or not, try to communicate with a higher power. Christians call this prayer. Non-believers might call this meditation or intuition. As my non-believing client works his/her way through the burdens of loss, I ask them to openly communicate with this potentially existing caring power. I usually suggest that they begin a list of questions that they would like answers for, a list of things they need assistance with, and most importantly that they ask with sincerity not only for these needs, but to know if God, or a higher power, exists. I also suggest that they seek assistance from this higher being for others in their circle of acquaintances who need comfort and recovery as well.

Prayer or meditation allows our minds and souls to change focus from being self-centered and redirects us to become more intuitive.

Step Two:
Assist others in something each day. In my home, we call this service. I teach my children and grandchildren to serve others by providing assistance with physical tasks, spiritual tasks, or through simple kindness.

Assisting and serving others allows us to forget our woes and increases socialization opportunities. It helps to make us better people and improves the lives of those around us.

Step Three:
Accept and build upon impressions for growth. Once my clients become comfortable with prayer or meditation, I ask them to accept their impressions and act upon them. In this way, they can magnify the impact of their growth and become the change they have experienced.

Accepting their new growth lays a foundation from which to launch their recovery.

Step Four:
Discover and understand who they truly are. I ask my clients to throw away all of the garbage they have heard or thought about themselves and become friends with their inner selves. Once they have sought and received answers to their questions, it is time to apply themselves to being the person they have always wanted to be.

I believe all people have goodness in them. Some nurture it and practice it more than others, but truly, we all are born as good people. I ask my clients to find and awaken the goodness in them and to actively cultivate it into the person they were meant to be.

Program Conclusion:
At the conclusion of this four-step journey, I find that most of my non-believing clients have a different perspective on their spiritual nature, as well as the spiritual nature of the world and universe at large. They may remain non-religious people, and that’s okay; religion is not for everyone. What I see at the end of this exercise is that my clients are aware that there is more to life than crazy parties and instant social media friends. They are able to clearly see that their loved ones still love them no matter where they have gone. This knowledge brings them comfort and assists them in a more obtainable grief recovery; precisely where they need to be.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, Podcaster, and founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.

It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

For additional encouragement, please visit my podcast “Deadline” at: or at Follow me on Instagram at: "Deadline_TracyLee."

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