Stuck In Grief

Four Ways You May Be Stuck In Grief

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So often we get stuck in grief, yet we may not know it or maybe we do and just have no idea how to get unstuck. We may not know what is even keeping us deep in the darkness of our grief.

However, after several years on our journey we may start asking ourselves things like; Why am I not getting better? How come the pain is still so intense? When will life be ‘normal’ again? Is life worth it? What’s the point of all of this suffering?

Yes, grief is dark – full of despair, sadness and such hopelessness at times. In order for us to fully grieve, we must be fully aware of ALL emotions. We must feel and express each emotion. Not stuff them. That’s what keeps us trapped in grief.

We must make a conscious decision to ask ourselves the hard questions. Uncomfortable questions. Questions that lead us into, through and then eventually out of the pain. They help us explore each and every emotion that comes up.

Stuffing and denying ourselves the right to express and feel ALL emotions leads to more suffering. It stops us in our tracks and keeps us from moving forward into all of life’s possibilities.

There are many ways we can become stuck in grief. I will touch on four here.

The ‘WHY’ trap – Continually asking ‘why’ keeps us stuck in grief

One way in which we can get stuck in grief is by continuing to ask ‘why’.  Although, it’s normal to ask why in the beginning and allow yourself to process the ‘why’, it’s not healthy to remain there.

A while ago, I wrote a short tip for called Release the “Why” in Loss: For Healing, Here’s a Better Question to Ask Yourself… that talks about the ‘why’ and what questions may better serve you and lead toward healing.  

Take a look to see better questions. More healthy and healing questions so you can finally stop asking ‘why’ …keeping you stuck in grief.

Guilt traps us in grief

Another way we can remain trapped in grief is feeling guilty. Guilty that we were unable to save our loved one. That we somehow contributed or at the very least didn’t prevent the death of our loved one. The truth is WE ARE NOT THAT POWERFUL. We don’t get to chose when our loved ones take their last breath.

I understand the guilt. I felt guilty for over five years after my dad died. Somehow, I thought I was powerful enough to save him. I knew deep down that I didn’t cause his death, but yet I thought I should have saved him. I felt as though I had failed him as a daughter.

It was important in my healing that I realize that I didn’t have that power. Eventually, I laid it down at the feet of my God. I put it there and walked away from the guilt. How freeing that day was.

You too can release the guilt and not remain stuck in grief. Not allow it to keep you trapped.

Shame locks us in the cage of grief

Often it’s shame that brings us to our knees. It increases our suffering and locks us in the cage of grief. We may feel shame when we lose a loved one to an overdose or suicide. There is so much stigma surrounding both addiction and mental illness, that it brings about shame. We feel judged by others or that others are judging our loved ones.

It’s important to point out that you don’t have to buy into society’s thoughts and beliefs on either topic. You know your loved one. Their struggles. Of course, you may not understand it, but that doesn’t mean you have to bear the burden of shame.

Shame is also tied to your own feelings of guilt. It’s a silent killer. Making you feel as if you don’t have permission to grieve or grieve because your loved one died in a particular manner.

Don’t allow shame to keep you stuck in grief. Find ways to release it.

Anger intoxicates and poisons our healing journey

Last week in my blog post, Anger: Is Yours Like An Iceberg?, I wrote about how anger can keep us stuck. How it may be an emotion used to protect us from other emotions we don’t wish to feel. Those that make us feel vulnerable.

Also, anger is so hard to express and allow ourselves to feel when it’s geared towards our loved one that has died. Nevertheless, it’s perfectly normal and necessary to express our anger towards our loved one.

Oh, I was so angry at my dad for getting out of his car on that dark blizzardy night, yet I couldn’t express it. That anger stayed tucked away for so long. I GET IT.  I can hear you saying…’there is no way I can be angry at my loved one…after all they are dead.”

Granted, expressing anger is hard. It was hard for me too, but I knew I had to do it unless I wanted to remain stuck in grief. The consequences of not allowing it to continue to intoxicate and poison my healing journey.

I say get angry, scream, holler, roll on the ground, hit your pillows, get a punching bag. Just get angry! Let it out, remembering to do it in a healthy and productive manner. Channel it into a purpose.

So many ways we can get stuck

There are many other ways in which we can get stuck in grief. That we become trapped in the despair and darkness. For that reason, it is essential that you explore where you’re at, what your feeling. In essence, pay attention to your path. 

Check out my video, Are You Stuck In Grief? How to Explore Using Journaling.

The bottom line is, grief is a journey. It’s one we can’t get out of. If we loved, we will grieve. That isn’t to say we have to prolong our suffering or block blessings from coming into our lives. We don’t have to remain stuck. Uncomfortable with expressing particular emotions or feelings.

Most of all, be sure to always remember:

You’re here for a reason!

You have a purpose!

You’re loved!

What Are Your Next Steps?


Let me hear your thoughts. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.  Are you stuck in grief? If so, what is keeping you stuck? Please comment below.


I would love to hop on a short 20-minute call to help you gain clarity around being stuck. I bet you’re ready to determine if your stuck or just ready to become unstuck. Simply fill out this form to let me know and let’s chat. It’s free! No selling! No Obligation!


Are you ready to rebuild your life and reemerge transformed into living a full life with passion and purpose? That’s just the type of inspiration you will get in each weekly edition of Liminal Space Notes. Don’t miss one more blog post!  Get access here.  It’s free!

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Roxane Goss

All stories by: Roxane Goss

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