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Grief, Death and Entrepreneurship — 6 Useful Ways to Manage Loss While Growing A Business Grief is inevitable. Everyone has or will experience grief in life, business and relationships and everyone grieves differently.

By Kelly Lynn Adams Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • Remember to take care of yourself.
  • Time is always moving, and you get to create in every moment.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There is a lot of useful and not-so-useful information when dealing with grief. When you research the topic, there are so many articles that it can seem overwhelming, as there is no shortage of information. However, you may just want some useful tools, tips and strategies that will help you navigate this process.

There can be many layers, feelings and thoughts about grief that one can experience, depending on what type of loss or grief you are experiencing. Relationships with a specific person, family member, friend, business associate or even grief of one's self & identity within the relationship — the acceptance, the moving on, and the navigating through life can range for many.

I do not claim to be a grief expert, yet I have been through many losses in my life from friends, aunts and uncles, clients and most recently, my last grandparent, my grandmom passing away. My grandmom was like a second mother to me, and I lived with her and my grandfather for many years growing up. We had a strong bond, and I would share everything — from who I was dating to things going on in my business and professional life.

While I am still grieving, I wanted to share what has been helpful for me within my grieving experience while running a business and living a full life in hopes that this will serve, be helpful and useful for you if you are going through or will be going through grief.

Related: Grief and Loss Can Seriously Impact the Ability to Work. Here's How to Create a Workplace That Supports Those Going Through It.

1. Acknowledge your emotions

Thoughts and emotions will come up, and when they do, you get to acknowledge them and give yourself the space to process them. Emotions are energy in motion, and you get to experience them and allow them to pass through. Many people keep their feelings bottled up. You don't want to suppress what is coming up because that can lead to different responses and ailments in the body and mind. When you release, it recalibrates your mind, body and nervous system.

Related: 4 Ways to Overcome Grief Without Neglecting Your Business

2. Know that they are not suffering

What has been the most useful for me since my grandmother's passing is that she is at her highest, wisest and best right now. She is not suffering, and she would not want me to suffer or be sad. She would want me to keep on living & creating a life, memories and experiences that are beyond my wildest dreams and utilize this time for me and my family.

She would want me to be happy, laughing and remembering the good times and go back to creating a life that I love and create my own journey, legacy and path that I was put on this earth to do while experiencing all of the abundance in this world. She would want me to be happy. Not crying or grieving the physical loss of her. Whenever I get hit with feelings of sadness, loss and grief, I feel my feelings and allow them to pass, but always remind myself she wants me to be happy and live life. I always remind myself of this, which becomes useful for me in these moments.

3. Create your eulogy and obituary

Morbid maybe — life transformational, absolutely. It gets you to rethink, reassess and realign where you are today to where you want to go and what gets to be created and shifted right now. Many of us don't think of death every day, yet in these moments, opportunities to look at how you are living and what you still want to create are windows for you to change directions if needed and wanted. Your eulogy that a friend or family member speaks at your service, what will they say about you?

This is an opportunity for you to get honest with yourself right now. Are there any unfulfilled dreams, unkept promises, unsaid things or goals you want to act on? What would you like your impact to be? Your purpose? This is the time to get clear and concise about it. You then can create an action plan around what is next for you.

You can give yourself a specific timeframe and goals and break them down for yourself, whether in the next month, quarter, six months, year or longer. Take the time to do this. Everyone is creating a legacy right now. If you don't like the one you create, you get to shift and change it.

Related: Running a Business While Dealing With a Personal Loss

4. Seek support and ask for help

This can be from other family and friends if they can talk with you and support you — this can also be hiring therapists, doing different types of healing work with practitioners like EMDR, IFS (Internal Family Systems), therapy, a grief or life coach, inner childhood work, trauma coping strategies and other healing practices & modalities. Support groups also help others tremendously, see what resonates with you and take action on it. Asking for help and getting support is not a weakness; it is a strength. Everyone deserves to be supported.

5. Take care of yourself

This gets to become your new non-negotiable. Grief can affect you on all levels if you allow it to — mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and physiological. It is important to get the proper amount of sleep, nutrition, movement and laughter.

A question that has been super useful for me during these times is asking myself: How are you feeling right now? What do you need in this moment? Right now? Honoring my feelings, thoughts and emotions has been game-changing for me.

6. Listen and honor your intuitional nudges

Again, grief can appear at times and is not a linear process. You may experience different days and emotions that come in different waves. I have found days where I want to be alone, other days where I want to be surrounded by and around others, some days I channel my energy into work and other days I don't want to work at all. This season, you get to listen to you and honor the nudges and intuition that come through. Give yourself the grace and space that you need. Everyone's process and healing is different, and you get to honor yours.

Remember to take care of yourself; time is always moving, and you get to create in every moment. Your loved ones are in a great place and want you to be happy, healthy, and have fun. Your future self wants this for you as well. What tool or tip will you take action on today?

Kelly Lynn Adams

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Executive, Life & Leadership Coach, Business Strategist, & Speaker

Kelly Lynn Adams is a consultant, executive certified coach, growth strategist and high-performance optimization expert. She speaks, coaches and writes on the power of high performance, mental wellbeing, stress-management strategies, sustainable business growth and clarifying purpose and passion.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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