Grieving Mindfully-Template

Jessica Sousa

Printable Version: Grieving Mindfully

Before You Read


  •  Think about a time you lost something special or important. How did they feel when you lost it? If you never found it again, what did you do?


  • Skim through the text and look at the titles and subtitles. What do you think is the main idea of the passage?


Look at the list of vocabulary words. Match the words with their definition. Write the letter next to the correct word. Use a dictionary if necessary. 

1. process

a. no longer having something or having less

2. grief

b. to recognize that something is necessary or cannot be changed.

3. express

c. accepting or dealing with something difficult

4. loss

d. a reply or reaction to something

5. response

e. a series of actions that happen in an order

6. aware

f. something or someone being useful for you

7. normal

g. a limit

8. helpful

h. to show what you think or feel

9. stuck

i. a feeling of extreme sadness

10. affect

j. unable to move or get away

11. cope

k. to admit that something is true or exists

12. acknowledge

l. usual and common

13. cycle

m. series of events repeated again and again

14. boundary

n. to influence or change

15. accept

o. knowing something is happening

Definitions taken from 


Read the following article from

Present Tense: 7 Mindfulness Strategies to Cope with Loss

Illustration by Brittany England

What is grief?

There are many ways to grieve. For some people it passes quickly. It can take years for other people. The feeling of loss becomes a part of our lives. At some point, most people will experience the loss of a friend, a parent, a relationship, or health. Grief is a completely natural human response. There are many reasons to grieve. These include the loss of:

  • a job
  • a pet
  • a relationship
  • a pregnancy
  • a loved one
  • a home
  • your health
  • your mobility

Mindful grief

There’s no right way to grieve. But there are ways to support the grieving process. “Mindfulness [is] paying attention to what’s happening as it’s happening. [It] is actually really helpful inside of grief,” says Megan Devine. Devine says it’s important to remember grief is normal and natural. She says the goal in using mindfulness while grieving is “to survive, to manage it, to cope with it, but not to fix it.” There’s nothing wrong with being positive. However, it’s important to not quickly forget or ignore difficult emotions while healing. Grief is not a problem. 

How to practice mindful grieving

There are seven steps to help you. 

1. Acknowledge and accept your feelings

 It might not be easy. But accepting how you feel is the first step to healing. And it is the most important in the process of mindful grieving. Allow yourself to feel without judgment. You will stop resisting your emotions. You also start to understand that grief is not a straight path. It’s a cycle. Then, you can start to see that grief comes and goes. The feelings will pass.

2. Express yourself

First, you accept your feelings. Then, you can put them in a safe place. This can include:

Everyone is different. It’s helpful to find a way to express your emotions. 

3.Know you’re not alone

Grief can be a lonely place. But the truth is you’re never alone in your grief. Everyone experiences grief. Mindfulness helps you be aware. You’re not alone in these feelings.

4.Try grief-focused meditation

During times of loss, meditation may seem impossible to do. With practice, meditation can allow you to feel and accept. This creates a safe environment for your pain.

5.Create healthy boundaries

Sometimes, friends may want to help. Friends or family may repeatedly call or visit. Some people think this is helpful. Other people may need space and time alone. You can communicate your needs and set healthy boundaries. It can be difficult to ask for what you need. But you need to be supported and understood.

6.Get ‘unstuck’

There are a lot of ideas about what grief should look like. Because of this, sometimes you feel like you’re “stuck” in your grief. There is no way to grieve “correctly.” You can still cry years later. It doesn’t mean you’re stuck.  But some normal grief responses can negatively affect your life. It’s normal to lose interest in work, hobbies, or even friendships. But it’s important to be social where you can.

7.Start telling your story

It doesn’t need to happen right away. But Devine strongly suggests sharing your own story with grief. Telling about what happened can be very powerful. “That is how things change.”

It’s OK to feel whatever you’re feeling. That is the first step. 

Word Count: 583

Time: _______
WPM: _______

Text adapted from: 

After You Read


Answer the questions:

  1. What does the author say about grief?
    1. We need to forget pain quickly.
    2. It is unhealthy to grieve.
    3. Grieving is a natural reaction.
    4. People grieve in similar ways. 
  2. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a way to practice mindful grieving?
    1. Tell your friends or family you need time and space.
    2. Talk about your experiences during your grief.
    3. Let yourself feel your emotions and accept them.
    4. Find new hobbies so you can forget about the experience.
  3. The author says we grieve because we ____.
    1. forget how to be social with others
    2. ignore our difficult emotions
    3. lose something important to us
    4. focus too much on the pain in life
  4. How can mindfulness help grief?
    1. Practicing meditation relaxes us.
    2. The focus guides us to fix our problems.
    3. Awareness helps us to survive the pain.
    4. Thinking makes us feel more positive. 
  5. What is the author’s main advice? We should ______.
    1. ignore negative thoughts
    2. accept our emotions
    3. think more about the past
    4. try to heal slowly


  1. Which of the 7 suggestions in the reading passage do you think would be very helpful to you and would like to try? Are there any other suggestions you would add to this list? 

Watch the following video: The Present | A Short Film

  1. How can knowing that we are not the only ones facing difficult moments and we are not alone help us to cope with our pain and grief?
  2. How might grieving be different in your own culture?


  • Responding to others’ challenges:
    • Example: One student can pretend that her family is having some problems right now. She tells her friend about it. The friend should avoid simply saying “Oh, I’m sorry” “That’s too bad” “I’m sure it will get better” “You can do this!” “I understand that” “My family also had problems one time” and think about how to better respond to the friends feelings. “Your experience is unique and I would like to understand how you feel.” “What can I do to help you through this process?” “Would you like to talk more about it?”
    • Other possible scenarios (keep in mind these could be sensitive): losing a job, a pet died, a loved one is sick, somebody stole their wallet and all their information, divorce/breakup, they didn’t pass an important test or class, they have a health problem, etc.
    • Sometimes during our lives, we may not feel that we are grieving, but someone we care about is having a difficult challenge. Role-play scenarios in partners and practice responding appropriately.
  • Read the questions before watching these two videos. The first video is about a boy named Hiro from the movie Big Hero 6. His brother Tadashi made a robot, but Tadashi dies and Hiro is upset. The second video is about a girl named Anna from the movie Frozen. She cannot find her sister and is lost in a cave. Big Hero 6   Frozen
    • Notice how Hiro feels at the beginning of the video. He is upset and angry, so he wants to kill the person who caused his brother’s death. How do his feelings change after he thinks about his brother Tadashi?  
    • Even though Anna is lost and feels like there is no hope, what does she do to get out of the dark place she is in? What can we learn from this song?


  • Play the Name Game. This can be a helpful way for people to cope when they are dealing with difficult emotions–sadness, depression, loneliness, anger, anxiety, stress, etc. Right now, think about three things you can see, two things you can touch, and one thing you can feel. Say these out loud.
  • Write down everything you are feeling right now for five minutes. Be honest with yourself. Allow yourself to think of every emotion. 

*Teacher's Note:

Comprehension Questions: Answers

  1. c
  2. d
  3. c
  4. c
  5. b


  • This article is useful for:
    •  creating and inferring topic sentences for each heading


  • This article is useful for:
    • infinitive verbs
    • gerunds

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