Healing Grief with the Five Senses ….

Posted on September 8, 2022 by Rev. Pam Reidy under grief, loss, mourning
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Humans are resilient beings, equipped with amazing natural abilities to help with the grief journey. Among them, the five senses, which provide a gateway to the world and inform our thoughts, feelings, and physical well-being. Our capacity to smell, taste, see, hear, and touch can warn us, teach us, and lead us to a place of restoration. So when it comes to grief, the senses can be an extraordinary means of comfort

  • We can be blind to things around us or we can open our eyes wide to what is before us. Some of the healing moments involving sight include gazing at the photo of our deceased loved one, watching a good movie that distracts anxiety or fear, or reading a useful book that informs us about grief. Picture boards and memorial videos are commonly used at funerals, many grieving people report that watching the video has given them comfort for months after the funeral. Seeing images of a beloved deceased makes them present and real in a particular way.


  • Touch is healing, because the connection in human touch helps us realize we are not alone, it is heartening to feel the energy of someone near to us. Walking hand in hand with a child is a beautiful way to experience the power of touch. A sincere, strong hug from someone who genuinely loves us is worth many a sedative.  Let touch give you peace as you grieve.


  • Taste and smell operate similarly, balancing us with the familiar. There is nothing as comforting as a perfectly brewed cup of tea, a dish of ice cream, or the proverbial bowl of chicken soup. Walking into a room sweetened with flowers or the aroma of a good meal, or even catching the smell of a candle that recalls the comfort of church or a romantic evening – these provide the solace of the familiar. Because grief so often makes us feel off-balance, simple smells and tastes can lead us back into normalcy.


  • Hearing is the sense for which we must exercise perfect choice, there is so much noise around that adds to the chaos a grieving heart. Choose wisely, selective hearing during grief is essential. Choose the sound of a friend’s voice, the silence of your own heart, a babbling brook or wind through the trees to lift the dark grey days when you are sad. The words I love you and you are not alone need to be heard often when we are grieving, so surround yourself with people who use these liberally.


Miles invites you to exercise the power of hearing at a special seminar, Exploring the Power of Music in Healing Grief,  Saturday, September 17th  when we will take advantage of the gift of hearing to explore grief.  Music is a universal language with the capacity to help us cope with loss, acting as a container for our grief, and helping us express painful or confusing emotions. Whether traditional or contemporary, spiritual or secular, music conveys psychological, emotional and spiritual tenets that illuminate the qualities, cycles, and characteristics of grief and loss. The seminar will explore lyrics, melody, and composition to explore the landscape of grief.   Pre-registration is required, to join us use this link:



Hope to see you at the seminar, in the meantime, let your senses work to heal you.

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