This journey physically hurts

a and K at ballgame

When you are forced to say a final good-bye to a loved one, the pain is real. Comments such as, “My heart is breaking” or “I can’t breathe” are often used to describe the grief journey. The truth is that facing death and loss is painful. This journey physically hurts. I spoke with a friend today who said these very words to me and I remembered the actual pain I experienced upon my own husband’s death.

Lying in bed that first night was excruciating. My heart raced to the point I was sure my chest would explode. My head pounded and my mind refused to focus. My thoughts were jumbled and I failed to be able to put my feelings into words. I sat up moaning and crying inconsolably.

As time went on, the physical pain shifted but was very much present. My heart was no longer running on adrenaline so it managed to stop pounding and pumping blood too quickly. However, there was a dull ache that never ceased. In fact, even today, five years later, there are moments when my breath is taken away upon the realization that life will never be the same.

The desire to move and continue any physical activity can tend to disappear, causing your muscles and joints to get stiff and sore. This journey physically hurts. Grief is not easy and it is not just limited to the mind. The body suffers as well.

So how do you battle this pain? Will the aching go away? Is there hope of healing and relief along the agonizing journey of grief? While the hurt and incredible pain you feel is very real, it will diminish over time. As the days, weeks, months, and years pass, the physical ache lessens. There will come a day when you will wake up and realize that suddenly, you feel a bit better. You are able to recall special things about your loved one and particular times spent together without tears and searing pain ripping through your body.

The saying, “Time heals all wounds” is inaccurate. I am not one that believes that time will take away your pain of grief. This journey physically hurts. That is a fact. The hope you can carry though, is that your pain will eventually lessen. Wait for it. Look forward with anticipation, knowing there will be a day you feel better – both emotionally and physically.

In the meantime, do your best to eat well, hydrate with lots of water, and keep moving to exercise your body. Allow yourself to heal by getting rest and taking in good nutrition. Be patient with yourself. If you encounter a day where you just cannot move forward, take a break. Pamper yourself if possible and allow that down-time to rejuvenate and prepare you for your journey tomorrow.

Until next time –


Won’t you consider buying Grief Letters for a loved one or for yourself? Begin the year with hope and purpose. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief. Place your order today!


Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.