To say someone grieves well may seem to be a poor attempt at scornful humor. Its not. Grieving is a necessary task following the loss of a loved one or any other significant loss: loss of health, a pet, home, job or physical ability. The idea is not to get good at it; the goal of grieving well is to help yourself move through a difficult period in your life as smoothly as you can without unnecessarily prolonging the grief. Information provided by the CareNotes series published by Abbey Press, states he following five habits are presented with the hope that your own grieving will bring wellness in spite of your wounds, and wholeness in spite of your loss. Patience: Ones grief proceeds at a very personal pace. Avoid comparing your grief time with that of others. More time does not mean more complete; quicker does not mean more effective. Perseverance: You will begin to see down days and other tough times as speed bumps, not road blocks. If you have already made it through a portion of your grieving, give yourself credit for persevering. Gentleness: This is a very real type of strength. If you start to wonder, if you are treating yourself with needed, beneficial gentleness or are you wallowing when you need to get a grip; take the question to a trusted friend or better yet, to an understanding counselor. Awareness: Learn how grief operates through reading about it and reviewing key ideas from time to time. Remember the positives in your life and give your self credit for making it this far. Trust: Accept the unknown future with openness. Trust that your life will have meaning and purpose-even with joy. Be open to the gifts life still offers, both during and after the time of grieving. The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620.