Grief and Loss: Handling Expectations

Presenter: Jesse Bassett, MDiv

View the webinar’s corresponding slides here

View the Webinar 

Grief is a topic most would like to avoid, as it often makes us feel uncomfortable and we find ourselves feeling awkward while trying to say and do the right things for our co-workers and friends. But, what has become apparent, is the fact that grief touches us all in various forms whether at work or at home.


  1. JBassett says:

    Good Grief offers any nights of support in Sussex County? If not, is there another support program for kids?

    Unfortunately, we do not have a center or run Nights of Support in Sussex county. However, we do have a center in Morristown, NJ located at 38 Elm St, which is not far from Sussex County. I am not aware of another program for kids in Sussex county. If you are interested in finding out more information about our programs you can visit this webpage.

  2. JBassett says:

    We have 3 boys 6, 8 and 12. The middle child recently lost a kidney to cancer, has undergone chemo/radiation and seems to be recovering well. This has brought about lots of drama in our family for everyone. Do you have any suggestions for us about how to help him get comfortable when it sinks in that there are some things he will not be allowed to do such as play contact sports?

    As I mentioned in the presentation, there are a variety of losses we experience as human beings and as a result grieve those losses in a variety of ways. I would suggest that going forward if you have an inclination that something may present a challenge based on the loss of his kidney that you prompt a conversation with him about it. I suggest you approach it from a place of care and concern, not out of a desire to make him feel like he is inhibited. One of the best things we can do for our kids is to communicate openly and honestly with them. We don’t want to scare him or make him feel insignificant. Rather, the goal of honesty and openness is to create clear lines of communication so that he will feel comfortable coming to you when he is feeling down.

  3. JBassett says:

    What are some self care practices you would recommend?

    Self care practices that have been shown to be most effective are exercise and mindfulness/meditation. Also high on the list should be adequate sleep and healthy eating habits. All of them are tough ones to get into a good routine, but worth the effort!

  4. JBassett says:

    What are your thoughts about kids being introduced to death at a young age rather than hiding it or not discussing it in front of them.

    We strongly recommend talking to kids about death at a young age rather than hiding it from them. We think that equipping them with this information will only help them (and not hurt) by equipping them with a framework to understand when a personal experience of loss does occur. For more info on effective ways to talk to kids about death, visit our resource page.

  5. JBassett says:

    My 30 year old friend found her husband dead in bed one morning. 10 years later she continues to cry daily, over his death. How can I help her without telling her it’s time to move on, which is what I think?

    Our approach at Good Grief is that as friends and supporters to someone who is grieving, it is not our job to tell someone it is time to move on–even if we feel like it is time. Grieving people need to be allowed to grieve at their own pace. A question I would have is, “What needs does this friend have since her husband died that are not being met, and how can you as a friend help to meet that need?” If they communicate needing additional help, then by all means, do everything you can do connect them to the right resources. We want people we care about to be okay and feel okay, but sometimes life is not that simple. The best thing we can do is honor their emotions and thoughts, and trust their process.