Let Yourself Grieve

This year has taken its toll on even the most positive minds. Whether or not we’ve been directly touched by COVID or politics or natural disasters or global warming, we are each impacted by the waves of loss, the tides of sorrow, the ripples of change.

So what can I say to bring a bit of comfort & joy to the world this season, in the final month of a year that has seemed like five rolled into one?

Let yourself grieve.

I wasn’t expecting to write about grief, but…

We are a nation and world with much to grieve this year, and we must give space to that grieving.

The loss of people, jobs, dreams, optimism, bucket list trips, graduations, savings accounts, weddings, worry-free retirements, exercise classes, hugs, spontaneous plans, security, book celebrations, favorite restaurants, working in coffee shops, childhood innocence, tea with friends, funerals, birthdays, live music, dinner parties.

It’s not that different from clearing out physical clutter. Get rid of the old to make room for the new. Or end up with layer upon layer of clutter covering what’s most essential.

So while you might be looking forward to a change of calendar and jumping into the new, first consider what we are leaving behind.  Even if you found significant treasure in the changes & challenges of this year, which many indeed have, what do you miss from your pre-2020 life?

Write it down, whether it seems significant or trivial, permanent or temporary. Let your heart tenderly hold the memories. Mourn those that won’t be coming back, by circumstance or choice. Cherish what remains.

Whatever 2021 brings, you will have so much more energy to embrace the new if you’re not piling it onto layers of unspoken loss and grief.

As I touch my own grief and the larger grief of the world around me, I feel both tender and hopeful. I feel the spaciousness of possibility beginning to simmer as I connect with compassion for all that has changed this year.

For now, this is enough.


Sora Garrett
Sora Garrett
Sora Garrett is a highly-creative humanitarian & life-simplification guide who blends her love for writing with her gift of inspiring people to think outside the box. Her fourth book, Simply Enough: Create Space for What Matters is a call to simplify our spaces so we can focus on creating a better world. This book is also a cornerstone of her mentoring circles, where she holds space for deep conversation about what matters while offering creative solutions and meaningful connection to others ready to cultivate more spacious lives of meaning and contribution. When she’s not writing or creating, you can find Sora taking long walks with her mini-schnauzer, working in her garden, sharing time with her life-partner of 44 years, their two grown children and one amazing grandson, or skiing/hiking in the mountains of Idaho where everyday miracles can be found.

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  1. Grieve, yes. And with the grief work . . . I find myself also observing in gratitude. And included that in old fashioned Christmas cards with enough writing in most of them to count as letters . . . to many. And in doing a reading at a funeral today, reflecting afterward in gratitude for moments of memories.


    • Cynthia, grief to gratitude … that’s an important transition & reminder, especially as we move through any kind of dying. So much is dying in our world, so let’s remember to be grateful for the gifts so we can keep those always in our hearts. Thank you for reading & your thoughtful reply.

  2. Love this Sora. So many times we try to avoid the grieving process, I know I did. Then I discovered you cannot avoid grief. You will go through the stages (not always in order) but grieving is an important part of healing. So as you said it is OK to grieve. Grief provides an opportunity to press the reset button.

    • Thank you Frank … yes, reset! Which is why so many of us need to remember this before saying goodbye to 2020! It’s already a global reset, but I think many are avoiding the deeper meaning that can be found when we consciously grieve what is leaving. Appreciate you making time to read & comment. Happy Holidays!

  3. Sora, a very touching article, one I understand all too well, but as you state, there is always hope, and what we hold dear to us that alive and well, good memories, and what we have right in front of us is a blessing. God Bless

    • Thank you for reading & making time to comment, Lynn. Even when we’re not personally grieving, it’s hard to miss what needs to be grieved by our whole country & world this year. So much change, loss, and confusion that needs to be cleared from our hearts before we can truly thrive in the new.