Your Choice: Grief or Grace

by | Apr 1, 2022 | Grace | 0 comments

A Personal Thought…

I wrote this book to help you come to terms with the grief that stems from great loss. In truth, I wrote it for myself but found it so useful, I needed to share it with you.

I wrote this article to share the big WHY behind my thinking.

My hope is that you will better understand how your choices and actions today will either shorten or lengthen your time in grief vs. living a wonderful new life.

As a writer, there is one thing I believe in more than psychology, philosophy, or theology.

It’s the power of WORDS.

Words have meaning and they have the power to kill our spirits or heal our broken hearts.

Having gone through the terrible experience of losing the woman I loved more than anything or anybody, I expected to grieve.

I expected to be crippled by my loss. I just didn’t know for how long.

All my friends told me that it takes time to heal the wounds and that I should expect to grieve forever. Many, including my grief counselor, sent me this quote.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you’ll learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” ~ ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS AND DAVID KESSLER

If I believed this, it would be tantamount to giving into a lifetime of suffering as I “learn to live” with my grief — forever.

Most of this quote is true, however. You will heal and you must rebuild yourself.

You can build on this experience and grow stronger.

To become a new person, hopefully, a much better person.

With Grace: Gratitude, Resilience, Authenticity, Creativity, and Empathy.

No question. loss is inevitable. None of us are getting out of this life alive — we are all steadily moving down the path to our own mortality.

What we do between now and then is what’s important.

It is the doing that shortens our grief. Take no action, everything stays the same. But take any small action — a forced smile… asking for help… envisioning a better place — and you quickly move from grief to Grace.

My belief is that there is a continuum that we traverse when we lose something or someone close to us.

First, there is a mourning period. In my case, it was intense and numbing.

Mourning is not the same as grieving. Mourning does not last forever.

Mourning: Bereavement is the objective situation of individuals who have experienced a loss of some person or thing that they valued. Grief is the reaction to loss.

While they might sound the same, they are different words that describe different periods of time for different people. Different stops on the continuum of life.

In my case, mourning lasted for about a week where I experienced intense anger, depression, and a direct assault on all my senses. I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t think. I was disoriented and physically sick. I could not eat. My INR spiked as my blood pressure fell.

I felt betrayed by God and bitter about the reactions of our family.

It was at the end of my mourning period, moving into my grieving period that I decided to build a bridge over the chasm of dread and doom.

As a writer and an executive, this is how we react to change of every nature.

To DO something — to take some action — not succumb to the eventuality of the pain of grief lasting for the rest of my life.

Grieve With Grace™ was born out of this image.

So, I decided to write this book, and sponsor the Grieve With Grace Initiative.

As a first step I had one of our artists, Kamal, take the words that experts all agree are the 5 stages of grief and do a Monet impression of what that would look like. We are on the precipice and see that we will be spiraling out of control into the depths of anguish and despair.

Tortutious tears cascade down the rocky walls of grief, driven by the emotions of Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, and Acceptance. This is not what I want for me, my family, or even you.

From there, I saw a different, better, and certainly less painful way to cross over from my “current despairing normal” to the “new peaceful normal” everyone was talking about.

Yes, I would build a bridge of Grace to walk over the crocodile-infested river of grief — instead of being consumed or washed away by it.

Little by little, I saw this bridge appear in my mind, and Kamal was able to capture the essence of my vision.

How long must you live with grief?

This, of course, is a personal question that only you can answer.

To me the continuum starts with Mourning >> moves on to Grieving >> putting you at the crossroad: Deciding.

For most, the fork in the road will be between two choices: 1) Acceptance/resignation, as many psychologists believe; or 2) Grace/Happiness… a life worth living as I have found.

Many professionals define Acceptance as a “willingness to tolerate a difficult situation”. The important part to focus on is that acceptance is a willful act. In other words, it’s a choice. The ability to make choices is really what makes us human and so incredible.

For me, I have no willingness to just tolerate anything — I believe it is always within our power to face a difficult situation and make it better. Or, in the words of my old friend, Dr. Robert Schuller, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do. Become a possibilitarian!”

I offer that when you are at that fork in the road leading you towards your ultimate legacy, take a breath.

Where you only see signs leading to Acceptance, you need to stop and make a decision. Recognize you must change direction or you may unwittingly fill your life with Remorse and Regret.

Remorse and Regret — or Grace and Happiness. In which direction will you turn?

It is your choice to make. And I say, the sooner the better.

Yes, you must build your bridge of Grace, but you don’t need to do it by yourself.

My hope is you will use the 5 stones we already carved for you.

God Bless,
Eric Richard Haas

Your 5 Building Blocks of Grace


Be thankful for the time you are given.



Find your balance & strength through peace.



Be the genuine, real you — all the time.



Create your future. Forgive the past.



Learn to listen, especially to your heart.




Cross your river of tears and Grieve With Grace™

Written by HunrayOne

Eric Richard Haas lost his beautiful wife, Janice, to incurable cancer on January 9, 2022, after 30 wonderful years of marriage. Together they have 5 kids, 9 grandkids, and 8 great-grandkids. Eric (E.R) is the CEO of the TQ Smart family of companies, a serial entrepreneur x22 and author x27 (AKA The Invisible Billionaire) E. R. lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beautiful cat, Kissie



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