Losing someone you love is very hard and can make you feel overwhelmed. Gratitude is one often overlooked but powerful tool in the healing process. Let’s look at how gratitude helps in times of grief and loss.

Understanding Grief

When we experience loss, it’s normal to feel grief. This can show up as sadness, anger, confusion, and even physical symptoms like tiredness or not wanting to eat. It’s a highly individualized experience, and everyone processes grief differently. It is important to honor your unique journey and timeline as you navigate this challenging terrain.

[Related Reading: 10 Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies]

The Role of Gratitude

When you’re grieving, it might seem odd to feel grateful for life’s blessings. But, it is during difficult times that being grateful can help the most. Here’s how:

  1. Shifting Focus. When grieving, it’s common to focus on the pain of loss and be consumed by it. Practicing gratitude helps you focus on the positive parts of your life, even for a short time. It reminds you that amidst the pain, there are still things to be thankful for.
  2. Finding Moments of Comfort: During grief, moments of solace can be challenging to come by. Gratitude allows you to find comfort in minor things—perhaps a warm cup of tea, a supportive friend, or a cherished memory of your loved one.
  3. Fostering Resilience. Grief is draining. Practicing gratitude helps build emotional resilience. It reminds you that you have the inner strength to endure even the most challenging moments.
  4. Honoring the Memory: Showing gratitude for the time spent with your loved one is a lovely way to honor their memory. Remembering the love and joy they brought into your life can be a source of comfort.

How to Practice Gratitude in Grief

  1. Start a Gratitude Journal: Take a few minutes each day to write down three things you’re grateful for. These can be simple, everyday things or moments of kindness from others.
  2. Create a Gratitude Ritual: Incorporate gratitude into your daily routine. It could be as simple as pausing before a meal to express thanks for the nourishment it provides.
  3. Share Your Gratitude: Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings of gratitude. Sharing your thoughts and emotions can be therapeutic.
  4. Remember Your Loved One: Include expressions of gratitude for your loved one in your mourning process. Share stories about them, create a memorial, or engage in activities they enjoyed.


Grief is a journey that can be incredibly painful. Still, it’s also a testament to the love and connection you shared with your departed loved one. During this tough period, it may seem strange, but being grateful can help us cope. While it won’t make the pain go away, it can provide comfort and strength during grief. Remember that healing takes time, so it’s fine to ask for help and mourn as you heal.

Joshua E. Hummer, Esq. is the founder of Relational Estate & Elder Law, and he has been a practicing attorney for over 15 years. While experienced in many parts of the law, Josh specializes in estate planning, estate administration, and elder law. He is licensed in both Virginia and West Virginia. Josh’s passion lies in helping people gain peace of mind about the future through holistic legal planning. When he isn’t meeting with clients or crafting legal documents, Josh enjoys spending time with his lovely wife, Jill, and their four vibrant children.


Disclaimer: The information you obtain in this post is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. This blog shares general best practices when navigating Virginia or West Virginia law, but you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.