Suzanne Says

Questions & Answers

September 2006

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Question: Hi Suzanne, I need some advice. I am going through the grieving process right now. A five year relationship just ended with someone I was very much in love with. Do you have any tips on how to make the process go smoothly and to help make life feel normal again?

Take care,


Answer: Hi Angy: This is a difficult time for you I am sure. I first experienced a break up as a teenager and was thrown off by the choice of my partner. I felt deep rejection and was depressed for a good while. Songs made me cry and I did not want to smile or listen to well-meaning parents who thought I "should" be getting over the breakup a few months down the path.

From my current perspective I believe loss is a part of life and we all go through grieving at times, even if it is over a necessary loss. So much has been written about the grieving process that I will summarize by saying it is normal to be upset, sad one moment, angry the next, lethargic and depressed the next. It takes time to accept the current situation and to believe it is in your own best interest.

Talking about your feelings with someone trustworthy is helpful, as is journal writing about everything going on inside of you. Include what you liked and disliked about the relationship, the other's personality, and yourself. What did you learn about yourself and what do you want to create in the future? Time helps us gain clarity and allows us to eventually accept the loss.

A very helpful book is The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses by John W. James and Russell Friedman. One exercise in particular involves creating a relationship graph for your lost relationship. Another is how to write a letter to this person that you do not send but read to a trusted friend or therapist.

Look for ways to develop your own interests, like get back into a hobby or start one, take a class, walk in nature daily, learn the art of meditation, connect to friends or move towards people that you would like to get to know better, watch comedies so you laugh often.






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