Hold on, Hold on, Hold on

In the beginning of our grief journey ~ and I put no time limit on the length of the "beginning" of our grief journey, because for some it may be weeks, for others it may be months, and for still others the “beginning” may even be years ~ but in the "beginning," very often the very best we can do is to HOLD ON.

I remember the days and weeks and months after my daughter Erin died when my mantra was "Hold on. Hold on. Hold on." Some days, some hours, some minutes it was even hard to hold on to the HOLD ON mantra.

I remember the days and weeks and months after my wife Trici died when my mantra remained “Hold on.”

And I remember the days and weeks and months after my son Rory died when all I could do was “Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.”


If that is where you are ... at the beginning part of your own grief journey where it takes all of your energy and then some "just" to hold on ... try and remember that you are not alone. When it takes everything out of you just to breathe. When you wonder if another breath is even possible. When you feel yourself slipping away into the darkness. You are not alone. There are many, many others that have walked those same steps before you. There are many others who have risen from the ashes. You can, too. 

You can, too.

But for now, just hold on. Hold on. Hold on.


Try and have no expectations. Someone you love dearly has died. Your job for now is to breathe. Just breathe. Focus on the little things. In the days after my wife Trici died, I was so shell-shocked by the explosiveness of her sudden death that I told people my primary goal each day was to make sure I moved my eye lashes up and down, and up and down again. That was the best I could I do. That was all I could do.

When your life has been shattered in millions of pieces, you need to take it slow.


Be gentle with yourself. Really, really gentle. I firmly believe - that for many of us - if we were able to take in, really take in, the enormity of what has happened to us we would not be able to live. Literally. I believe our bodies would shut down. Our minds would turn off. Our spirit would take flight. Our new reality is simply too much to take in all at once. So, we take it in little by little, detail-by-detail. Over time. Lots of time.

And in time, in small doses, our new reality begins to sink in. Someone we love has died. Our life has changed forever. Many of our dreams have been shattered.

And for now, the best we can do is hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.

Hold on.

You are not alone.

If my NEW WAY of "doing grief" resonates with you, I'd love to work with you one-on-one.  If you are in the Rockford, Illinois area we can do that in person, otherwise, I am having great success working with people all over the country via Skype.  Email me at tomzuba@aol.com if you would like to take the next step on your grief journey and we can schedule a session.


  • Dear Tom, thank u for your words.I am trying to hold on but now I am officially threatened too. I am afraid to get out of the house; i am afraid for my life; i am afraid of everything and everyone; dont know what to think, say or do; i am hurting as i never hurt before in my entire life and my life is also being threatened. What do I do? I am all alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I’m trying to hold on. I wonder when I’ll stop feeling like I’m in a state of shock.
    My 23 year old son died suddenly 20 weeks ago and I simply can’t grasp the reality. It keeps hitting me again and again.
    I have been creating a site for bereaved parents and siblings and I’ve added links to your blog and Facebook page.

  • Tom i want to say so much but dont now where to start you are a truly strong amazing people & with everything you have been through, you are supporting & helping others my thoughts are with you. hold on hold on hold on.

    melanie lukeman

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