The Four Things That Matter Most

Grief is a natural response to loss. It can be felt in many ways. Grief’s impact can be emotional, social, spiritual, physical and financial. It is as individual as the person you loved and lost. Grieving while living away from family and friends can be especially difficult. This is a place where you can share your thoughts, and get ideas on how to cope. It is here for you to get support and validation.

The Four Things That Matter Most

Postby mary+m2 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:14 am

Ira Byock, M.D., wrote a book entitled The Four Things that Matter Most, which has recently been updated. The Four Things are phrases used to mend relationships at the end of life or during life. Those phrases are: "I forgive you", "Thank you", "I love you", and "Please forgive me". I reflect on these questions personally and as a bereavement counselor. It is not unusual for grieving people to be hard on themselves. Questions of whether the right decisions were made for their loved one at end of life make "clean" grieving difficult. Plagued by guilt over the one imperfect decision or action they made, the love and care they provided their loved for weeks, months, and years is dismissed. Using these four phrases to forgive themselves, to love themselves, to have gratitude for their ability to care for a loved one are useful reminders for the deep work of peacefully integrating their loved one's loss. Take time to sit with these phrases and reflect on forgiveness, love, and gratitude in your daily life.
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