Attainable and Measurable Goals Are Part of the Grief Journey

I read this article By Harriet Hodgson and wanted to share it with
you because the idea of setting goals for yourself in the grief
process may seem a little out of your realm of comprehension, and
yet I hope you will see some value for yourself by the end of the
Setting new goals helps you continue your grief journey. I learned
this lesson from experience. After my daughter and father-in-law
died on the same February weekend I started thinking about goals.
Thinking was hard because I was overcome with grief and stress.

The loss of a child, no matter what their age, is devastating and
my first goal was to make it to the next hour. Then I vowed to make
it through the morning, through an afternoon, and through an entire
day. I worked on these goals and was making progress when my
brother had a heart attack and died. Three loved ones were gone

In November of the same year my former son-in-law died suddenly, a
tragedy that made my twin grandchildren orphans. Instantly, my
goals shifted from me to my grandchildren — my top priority. The
Cancer Net website discusses priorities and goals in its article,
“Coping with Change After a Loss.” Death changes your life and,
according to the article, “It may also be necessary to change
priorities for practical reasons.”

My twin grandchildren were 15 1/2 when they moved in with my
husband and me. At first my goals for them were basic: cook healthy
meals, get them settled, and research counseling options. As the
months passed these goals grew to include supporting school
activities, helping with homework (when asked), and having fun
together as a family.

Angela Morrow, RN, writes about goal setting in her article,
“Letting Go of Grief: Entering a New Season in Life.” Morrow thinks
mourners should set one goal for the coming year, another goal for
the second year after loss, and a third goal for the fifth year
after loss. “Having goals to work towards will keep you moving on
your new journey,” she writes.

Raising teenagers at this stage of life was a challenge and my
goals should meet this challenge. I read Internet articles about
setting goals and one, on the Top Achievement website, “Creating
S.M.A.R.T. Goals,” by Gene Donohue, was really helpful. The word
“smart” stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and
timely. “When you identify goals that are most important to you,”
Dononue notes, “you begin to figure out ways you can make them come

I applied the S.M.A.R.T. approach to grief recovery goals. My first
goal was go get the twins safely and lovingly to their 18th
birthdays. We reached this goal last week. Goal two would be
getting them through high school. College graduation would come
next, and if the twins wanted it, graduate school. Diplomas would
be the measurable outcomes of these goals.

These are attainable goals and, most important, will prepare my
grandchildren for life. I will have to take good care of myself and
follow my doctor’s orders to reach these goals. This goal setting
has been a surprising chapter in my grief journey. You may have
surprises, too, as your journey evolves. Enjoy them.

Article Source:,-Attainable-and-Measurable-Goals-Are-Part-of-the-Grief-Journey&id=3798510

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