Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.

My book about multiple intelligences is titled How Am I Smart? A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences, but many other titles would have worked. That’s because our intelligences are relevant to so many areas of life.

As you know, if you read last week’s blog posts (here and here), grief has been on my mind lately. Would it surprise you to know that understanding how we are smart can help us grieve well? It’s true. And, it’s important because grief isn’t well understood. Too often, people can be made to feel they’re not grieving right. Really? Disappointing.

How Do We Grieve? Using Multiple Intelligences to Grieve Well and Completely. How about that for a title? We have all eight smarts, so all of the following may be relevant. If we have definite intelligence strengths, we’ll want to use those as we grieve.

Word-smart people will need to talk through their feelings. Believe it or not, someone to listen isn’t essential. But, they will often want to share stories with people. They may also write out their thoughts. They may also want to listen to you tell stories about the loved one.

Logic-smart people will need to ask more questions than others might. They’ll want answers, when possible. They’ll always want to be heard. They will not appreciate being told to stop asking questions that can’t be answered or hearing other statements designed to placate them. They may struggle with anger more than others if things don’t make sense to them.

Picture-smart people may benefit from drawing pictures of their favorite memories. They may talk about what they saw at the end of a loved one’s life. They may remember relevant dreams and think more about heaven than others as they imagine what a loved one might be doing there.

Music-smart people may be supported in their grief by music. They may want to listen to their loved one’s favorites. They will most likely also want to play their favorite songs. This music may increase their likelihood they’ll experience some peace. For the rest of their lives, when hearing certain songs, memories of the loved one may return.

Body-smart people will need to move freely and often. Movement and touch help them think and relax. If exercising, dancing, drumming, or crafting are normal activities, they’ll need to continue these or stress will badly build.

Nature-smart people may need to spend time outside just sitting on a bench or walking in a park. They can benefit from doing this alone and also with others. They also may pay more attention to the flowers at a funeral than others do. If they have pets, they’ll gain comfort from interacting with them.

People-smart people will grieve best when spending time with other people. They’ll need to talk and listen and test their ideas by sharing them with others who are able to continue the discussion. Interacting with others who knew the same loved one or who can understand the feelings and thoughts they’re having will be essential to them working through their grief.

Self-smart people will grieve alone, thinking and feeling deeply inside of themselves. Others may be concerned that they’re not processing their feelings, but they don’t need people to process with like people-smart people do. They’ll want quiet, peace, space, and privacy and if these needs aren’t respected, stress will build. They should be encouraged to share their conclusions with people they’re safe with.

Grief is never easy. It’s essential that we grieve well, not hurrying it or denying our feelings. Let’s encourage people to grieve the way they’re designed.

I truly hope these ideas about grief help you and those you love.