Posts by Jill Gross

Dr. Jill Gross is a licensed psychologist, grief and divorce specialist, and mother of two. She lives and practices in Seattle, Washington. To find out more about Dr. Jill, please visit www.drjillgross.com.

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Why We Shouldn’t Rush or Feel Guilty About Emotional Pain

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

In July 2012, a conversation changed my life.

Prior to this, I had been struggling to right myself after a difficult loss. Several months had passed, yet I continued to revisit the same sad, angry place again and again. I believed the presence of these difficult emotions meant I was “doing it all wrong.”

I thought, if I could figure out why these feelings were so persistent, I could make them vanish altogether. To assist in the quest, I enlisted the help of …

Falling Apart at Inconvenient Times: Why There Is No Shame in Public Pain

“The major block to compassion is the judgment in our minds. Judgment is the mind’s primary tool of separation.” ~David R. Hamilton

On the evening of October 28, 2014, the phone rang. When I heard my stepmother’s voice, immediately, I thought, “This can’t be good.”

Last I had heard, my father was resting comfortably after routine surgery earlier that day. Now it was past midnight in North Carolina.

“Jill,” my stepmother implored, “please talk to the nurses. I have no idea what they are trying to tell me.” Sometimes we cannot listen to what we do not want to hear.…

The Gift Of Unsoothable Pain: Darkness Can Lead to Light

“Blessed are the cracked for they shall let in the light.” ~Groucho Marx

In 2008, after ten years of marriage, my former husband and I decided to divorce.

It came as a shock to those who knew us. We were living what most would consider the American dream: two healthy children, beautiful home, great friends, strong careers, two incomes—the works.

Though my ex-husband and I got along well, the marriage was missing an intimate, heartfelt connection.

Loneliness and longing grew with each passing year until I could no longer ignore them. I knew the kind of intimacy for which I …

Transforming Shame Into Love, One Good Deed At A Time

“No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~Charles Dickens

A few years back, I saw a sticker that read, “Be the change you wish to see in the world. –Gandhi.”

My knee-jerk reaction was annoyance because the sticker was affixed to the bumper of a car that turned left in front of me. I was in the middle of a long stretch of bad days, so pretty much anything would have set me off.

My search for happiness during that bleak period seemed fruitless, most likely because I didn’t know that happiness is not …

How Painful Relationships Can Be The Best Teachers

“Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” ~Unknown

“This is it,” I thought. I finally found the man I had been waiting for.

Of course, it had taken me thirty-nine years and a painful divorce from my husband of ten years. But that was all worth it, I told myself, because it had led me to the man who seemed to see, understand, and love me the way I had always hoped someone would.

Things were blissful in beginning. We made breakfasts together, took romantic vacations to exotic locations, we fantasized about buying vacation houses. Our developing …