Finding Comfort in Grief


BY: Diane Snyder Cowan

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

Grief is a normal necessary, natural, reaction to the death of a loved one. It is not a disease. It is not a problem. It is a solution and a way to heal. Finding comfort to alleviate the intense feelings of grief or distress is different for everybody. 

Just as everyone grieves in their own way, people find comfort and healing in a variety of ways. And for some, these ways might seem strange or different. Not everyone goes for the traditional talk therapy or grief support group. 

What does comfort look like for you? Is it intellectual? Is it warm and fuzzy? Does it make you think or feel? Does it stir things up? Or does it do a little bit of both?

Do you find solace with a particular person, a pet or your faith tradition? Does being in nature comfort you? Or does a hot fudge sundae bring you consolation?

Comfort takes many forms and it can be whatever you want it to be.

It can be:

  • Going to the zoo
  • Watching silly YouTube videos or sad movies
  • Finding triggers that cause your tears to flow  
  • Sharing the gravestone or visiting the cemetery with a friend
  • Practicing Yoga, kick boxing, running or basketball
  • Drawing, playing, building, or gardening
  • Crawling under an afghan on the couch and looking through old photo albums or reading old letters and greeting cards
  • Making music with others or going to dinner with friends

Consolation can be found in a book, a poem or the words to a song. The list is endless.

This holiday season, take the time to remember. The memories of your loved one hold a special place in your heart and remembering can provide you with the greatest comfort and joy.


About Diane Snyder Cowan​
Diane Snyder Cowan is the director of Western Reserve Grief Services.

She oversees the hospice and bereavement programs and expressive therapy. Diane is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator and a Board Certified Music Therapist.

She currently serves as the Section Leader for the Bereavement Professional Section of the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Certification Board for Music Therapy.

Diane has presented on music therapy and grief and loss throughout the country and has written for many publications on music therapy and on grief and loss.

She strives to provide support and education to grieving individuals and those who work with them.