How to Talk About My Grief: Seeking Support and Validation

Experiencing grief is a complex and challenging process to navigate, especially when those around us may not fully understand our feelings.
By illume Editorial Team
Last updated: Jul 8, 2023
3 min read

Finding the right people to talk to and effectively communicate our needs is crucial. In this article, we explore strategies to open up about your grief, seek validation, and receive the support you need. 

Learn from grief expert Julia Samuel about explicit communication, choosing trustworthy listeners, setting boundaries, and the benefits of finding someone who can truly listen to your emotions. 

Additionally, we highlight the importance of seeking professional help when necessary to cope with the impact of grief on your daily life.

How to Talk About My Grief: Seeking Support and Validation

Grief is a complex emotion that can be difficult to express and manage after the death of a loved one.  It’s particularly challenging when those around us don’t fully understand our feelings or situation – or avoid talking about the person who died. It could be that people feel afraid of approaching the subject or simply don’t know how to best offer support.

In these instances, it’s important to seek out the right people to talk to and to communicate our needs during the process of grief and loss. 

Understanding the Fear and Dismissal of Grief

According to grief expert Julia Samuel, people may feel uncomfortable with or dismissive of their experience of grief because it brings up fear. They can struggle to talk about their loss.

However, not everyone can effectively listen and support us through this process. The key is to find someone close and whom you trust, who can listen without feeling the need to fix you or make things better.

Being Explicit about Your Needs

To effectively talk about your grief, Julia recommends being explicit about what you need from the conversation. 

Ask if you can tell them what you’re feeling and explain that all you need is for them to listen. Clearly expressing your expectations and boundaries can create a safe space for open communication.

Start with Shorter Conversations

Starting with shorter conversations can help avoid overwhelming yourself or the other person. Begin with a designated timeframe, such as 15 minutes, to gradually ease into sharing your emotions. This approach allows for a manageable exchange that respects both parties’ emotional capacity.

The Healing Power of Listening

It’s important to remember that finding someone to talk to about your grief doesn’t mean you’ll be “fixed” or that the pain will disappear overnight. However, having someone to talk to who can listen and validate your emotions can be a healthy coping mechanism and a helpful step in the healing process.

Helpful Tips for Talking About Your Grief

Choose a Supportive and Safe Listener: Select someone who makes you feel supported and safe. Not everyone is well-equipped to listen and support us through the grief process.

Be Explicit about Your Needs: Clearly communicate what you need from the conversation. Ask for permission to share your feelings and explain that you need them to listen without judgment or trying to solve the problem.

Start with Shorter Conversations: Begin with shorter conversations to avoid overwhelming yourself or the other person. Gradually increase the duration and depth of discussions as you feel more comfortable.

Acknowledge that Healing Takes Time: Remember that finding someone to talk to doesn’t mean the pain will disappear, but having someone who will truly listen to you can provide powerful emotional support.

Consider Professional Support: If you’re struggling to find someone to talk to or if your grief significantly impacts your daily life, consider seeking professional help. Grief counselors or therapists can provide specialized guidance and support tailored to your needs.


Opening up about your grief and finding someone who can truly listen and validate your emotions is an essential part of the healing process. By communicating your needs and seeking support, you can navigate the challenges of grief with greater resilience. Remember that professional help is always available if you require additional assistance to cope with the impact of grief on your daily life.

Discover Grief Support with Grief Works by Illume

Seeking support during the grieving process is essential. Rest assured, the Grief Works app is here to assist you. It provides guidance to overcome grief, offers a caring community, monthly live calls with Julia Samuel, and the opportunity to chat with a therapist when needed. Additionally, the app includes a built-in journal for your daily reflections and follows the Grief Works Curriculum to help you navigate this healing journey.

Remember, healing from grief takes time, and finding the right support can make all the difference.