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Brighton-based Clinical Psychologist

Dr Sophie Ann Bafunno-Clifton

The journey of grief: Coping with loss and finding hope

Grief, a profoundly personal and often misunderstood experience, is an inevitable part of the human condition. As a psychologist, I have accompanied many individuals on their unique journeys through grief, witnessing the transformative power of coping with loss and the eventual rediscovery of hope. Central to navigating this path is the development of a personal value system, which serves as a compass for authentic living even in the face of profound loss.

Navigating the complexities of grief

Grief is not a linear process but a fluctuating landscape of emotions, thoughts, and reactions. It’s important to acknowledge that everyone’s experience of grief is unique, and there is no ‘right’ way to grieve. For instance, when Mark lost his partner, he found solace in solitude and nature, while Sarah sought comfort in community and creative expression.

The role of a personal value System in grief

Identifying core values

In times of loss, reconnecting with your core values can offer direction and meaning. These values might include family, compassion, creativity, or community. By identifying what truly matters to you, you can find ways to honour your lost loved one and begin healing.

Values as a guide through grief

Your values can guide your choices and actions during grief. For Emily, whose value was service to others, volunteering became a way to navigate her grief and find purpose in her pain.

Strategies for coping with loss and finding hope

Allow yourself time to grieve

Give yourself permission to experience your grief fully. It’s okay to feel a range of emotions, from sadness and anger, to relief and guilt.

Seek support

Connect with friends, family, or support groups who can offer understanding and empathy. Sometimes, sharing your story can be healing in itself.

Honour your loved one

Find ways to honour the memory of your loved one. This could be through rituals, creating art, or participating in activities they loved.

Embrace change and growth

Grief can change you. Embrace this transformation and allow yourself to grow from your experience. Remember, finding hope and joy again does not diminish the love you had for the person you lost.


The journey of grief is a deeply personal experience that challenges us to find strength in vulnerability. By creating and adhering to a personal value system, we can navigate this journey with authenticity and eventually find a path back to hope and living fully. Remember, coping with loss is not about moving on from the memory of a loved one, but about moving forward with their spirit as part of your guiding values

How Brain Matters can help you further

If the topics discussed in our articles resonate with you and you’re seeking a deeper understanding or specialised assistance, we are here to assist. We recognise that each person’s journey is distinct, and we’re dedicated to providing bespoke support tailored to your individual needs.

Dr Sophie Ann Clifton

Dr Sophie Ann Clifton

Chartered Clinical Psychologist
ASD assessor, EMDR Therapist

From August 2024, we will be taking on new referrals, and we wlcome you to get in touch and connect with us. Whether you’re looking to enhance your mental wellbeing, navigate relationship dynamics, manage anxiety, or simply seek a space for personal growth, we are ready to support you with expertise and compassion. Discover how our personalised psychological services can contribute to your path of healing and self-discovery. 

Contact Brain Matters Psychology to arrange your session and take the first step towards a more enriching life.