Alternative Spirituality Self-Improvement Hack: Be Sad


When my baby died last November, I wanted to buy a doll.

The first night I found out that Jane had brain damage, when we were staying at the hospital, I started thinking about how I wouldn’t get to hold her for more than a couple of days, or even less, and I thought, Maybe I’ll buy a doll to hold instead.

The second day after Jane died, I went to the toy store and looked for one, but most of them were too hard or too small and they did things like crying and talking and I didn’t like that.

Besides, none of them looked like her.

Several months later, I went to a grief group. One woman shared about her experience of losing her son, Michael, saying that there is no wrong way to grieve.

“Anything short of hurting yourself or others is fair game,” she said. “Do whatever it takes.”

A few days later, I bought a doll.

It is good to grieve, I’ve realized. Being sad is one of the most important things in life, after all.

It has taught me a lot.


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  1. One of my friends cuts herself, well actually a few of my friends do… I don’t know how best to help, i guess learning to grieve in a new way is hard for them and so i try not to be too bossy about it because like you say grieving is good but it really is heartbreaking and don’t think it’ll be good in the long run… xx

  2. But turning a tragedy into a triumph is what you have done…because You & Jane will help countless others by bringing your messages of hope, and encouragement, and empowerment to people…all over the world!

    Through the technology of today, the Internet, and your splendid self-help writing, Jane will always live on and together you will BOTH help other people! How awesome is that?

  3. Life is contrast. Without grief, how would we know what joy felt like. Don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie:
    Oh, God Book II
    but there is a scene in the movie where God is talking to the young girl who is the protagonist after she asks him why there is so much suffering. He says:
    I’ve never been able to create something without also creating its opposite.
    No night without day
    No conflict without peace
    No anger without joy
    No sadness without happiness

    Makes sense, doesn’t it?


    1. Have you ever read Conversations with God? I think that has the best explanation for suffering there ever was. Basically: it shows us what love is (by contrast). It helps us know ourselves.

      1. Hi Mollie:
        Yup read it many times. Such an important book that I think should be in everyone’s library.


  4. Molly, I love your blog…I’m looking forward to following it. And thanks for following mine! This post touched me deeply. After losing my Mom a few years ago, I had to learn how to allow myself to be sad – not all the time, just sometimes. And I learned how to grieve in my own way. Thank you.