Moving Beyond Loss


Grief is normal and natural but many of the ideas we have been taught about dealing with grief are not helpful.

Recovery from loss is accomplished by discovering and completing all of the unfinished emotions.   People tell us to “Let Go,” or “Move On” after losses of all kinds.  Most of us would if we knew how. 

Completion of pain caused by loss is what allows us to let go and move on.  It is almost impossible to move on without first taking a series of actions that lead to completion.  My job is to lead you through those actions so you can move beyond loss.

If you have experienced one or more losses, and you wish to move beyond the pain, this program offers you the probability of a richer and more rewarding life.  You don’t have to be “stuck”.  You CAN heal! You CAN recover!  I know, because I did!

The Grief Recovery Method helped me in ways over 3 years of counseling couldn’t.  I was stuck in my grief.  I didn’t know what else to do.  I was better than when my husband first died, but there was still pain that I just couldn’t identify or know what to do with.  I thought where I was at is where I would stay forever. 

Then I was guided through the steps of grief recovery.  I realized all the misinformation I had about grief.   I got to the root of my pain and was able to complete those unfinished emotions and heal.  Truly heal!  I was like an entirely different person.  I was joyful again.  I no longer felt like I was going to throw up when I would think about my husband.  I could think about him and talk about him.  When I heard our song playing, I started to sing along with it, instead of running to turn it off, like I did in the past.  The pain was gone and I was left with all the good memories.  Everyone around me noticed the difference.  It was miraculous!

The Grief Recovery Method program CHANGED MY LIFE!!  I never thought I would be truly happy again.  Everyone should go through this as we have all suffered some type of loss.  I became trained and certified in this method so others could experience what I experienced.


1.      Time Heals All Wounds
2.     Grieve Alone
3.     Be Strong
4.     Don’t Feel Bad
5.     Replace the Loss
6.     Keep Busy

Grief Triggers

stress scale for adults

Below you will find the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale for Adults. The Grief Recovery Institute has purposefully not included any numerical rankings related to each event.

Please keep in mind that this list is far from complete in outlining the different issues that can relate to grief. In reality, this list is woefully inadequate, to say the least. It does not cover such events as sexual assault, domestic violence, runaway children or pet loss, to name but a very few grief causing events. Another major issue, that is not addressed, would be anything associated with sexuality. By looking at specific situations with any number of grievers, this list could expand greatly. The other problem with adapting such a list comes in that some of the items listed may be confusing when relating them to grief. Some events, such as marriage may bring to mind more memories of joy than pain. (In this case we need to remember that there is grief associated with changes from normal behavior patterns, of which there can be many in moving from "single" to "married.") Likewise, this listing for "Christmas" might be better restated as "any holiday." The greatest value to this listing is in helping people understand that grief is not just about death. Stress and stressful events come in many packages, which is true for grief as well.

  • Outstanding personal achievement
  • Spouse starts or stops work
  • Begin or end school
  • Change in living conditions
  • Revision of personal habits
  • Trouble with boss
  • Change in working hours or conditions
  • Change in residence
  • Change in schools
  • Change in recreation
  • Change in church activities
  • Change in social activities
  • Minor mortgage or loan
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Change in number of family reunions
  • Change in eating habits
  • Vacation
  • Christmas
  • Minor violation of law
  • To this, we also feel that it is important to add: Loss of trust, Loss of Approval, Loss of safety, Loss of Faith and Loss of control of my body
  • Death of a spouse
  • Divorce
  • Marital separation
  • Imprisonment
  • Death of a close family member
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Marriage
  • Dismissal from work
  • Marital reconciliation
  • Retirement
  • Change in health of family member
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Gain a new family member
  • Business readjustment
  • Change in financial state
  • Death of a close friend
  • Change to different line of work
  • Change in frequency of arguments
  • Major mortgage
  • Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
  • Change in responsibilities at work
  • Child leaving home
  • Trouble with in-laws

The stress scale for seniors (55 and older)

A slightly modified version of this Stress Scale was created for those over 55, to reflect those life events that come with aging. In many ways this scale is similar to the one for adults, but it likewise fails to mention the same stressors and grief causing events that we noted above.

  • Mortgage over $100,00
  • Foreclosure of mortgage/loan
  • Sense of not being needed
  • Outstanding personal achievement
  • Spouse begins or stops work
  • Decreased contact family/friends
  • Change in personal habits
  • Less contact with support groups
  • Trouble with boss/work
  • Minor physical problems
  • Change in recreation habits
  • Change in church activities
  • Changes in social activities
  • Loans of  less than $100,000
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Change in family gatherings 
  • Change in eating habits
  • Vacations Christmas
  • Minor law violation
  • Death of spouse
  • Divorce
  • Nursing/Retirement home move
  • Marital separation
  • Death of a close family member
  • Major physical problems
  • Marriage or remarriage
  • Lack of dreams/purpose
  • Financial loss of retirement
  • Forced early retirement
  • Unable to drive
  • Martial reconciliation
  • Normal retirement
  • Spouse confined to retirement home
  • Family member change of health
  • Gain new family member
  • Change in financial state
  • Death of a close friend
  • Difficulty in getting insurance
  • Change in arguments with spouse

Grieving events for children and teenagers

Yet another version of this scale was developed for, so called, "Non-Adults." Just as is the case with the "Adult Scale," there are many additions that could be made to this list for grieving experiences for children, based on their unique relationships and level of development. This list also fails to include elements of child abuse on any level, sexual matters, bullying and cyber bullying or such things as loss of Safety, Approval, Faith or personal control.

  • Breaking up with boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Beginning to date
  • Suspension from school
  • Becoming involved with drugs or alcohol
  • Birth of a brother or sister
  • Increase in arguments between parents
  • Loss of job by parent
  • Outstanding personal achievement
  • Change in parent's financial status
  • Accepted at college of choice
  • Being a senior in high school
  • Hospitalization of a sibling
  • Increased absence of parent from home
  • Brother or sister leaving home
  • Addition of third adult to family
  • Becoming a full fledged member of a church
  • Decrease in arguments between parents
  • Decrease in arguments with parents
  • Mother or father beginning work
  • Death of parent
  • Unplanned pregnancy/abortion
  • Getting married
  • Divorce of parents
  • Acquiring a visible deformity
  • Fathering a child
  • Jail sentence of parent for over one year
  • Marital separation of parents
  • Death of a brother or sister
  • Change in acceptance by peers
  • Unplanned pregnancy of sister
  • Discovery of being an adopted child
  • Marriage of parent to step-parent
  • Death of a close friend
  • Having a visible congenital deformity
  • Serious illness requiring hospitalization
  • Failure of a grade in school
  • Not making an extracurricular activity
  • Hospitalization of a parent
  • Jail sentence for a parent for over 30 days

Taking Action to Deal With This

A very important point to remember is that it is one thing to realize that these are events that can bring stress and grief into your life, and quite an other thing to take action. Most people carry around a great deal of grief that they hold inside. Unlike a broken arm or leg that is made obvious by a cast, a broken heart is far less easy to see. As with a broken limb, we take action to heal the wound ... action is also needed to heal a broken heart; time alone doesn’t heal a wound, action within time is


The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale was first utilized in looking at the strong correlation between the stressors that impact people’s lives and their actual medical issues. People under stress are more prone to a variety of medical complications. Reducing your stress/grief can have a positive impact on your physical wellbeing.

Our focus, at the Grief Recovery Institute, is in moving beyond the emotional pain of loss. The Grief Recovery Method is a proven, step-by-step process for accomplishing this. It’s designed to help people deal not only with past and current issues regarding the stress of grief, but also to provide the tools to deal with future issues, as they develop.