You Are Not Alone
Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things many of us will ever face. Dealing with death is difficult, and grief can sometimes be overwhelming. Each person grieves in his or her unique way, and determining the best way to show your support to someone who is grieving can be tough. What’s the best way to convey your sincere sympathy? How can you show you care in a meaningful, appropriate and comforting way?
There are all kinds of ways to show that you care. Sympathy cards, condolence messages, flowers or plants, food and small gifts are a few ways to express support. Attending a funeral or memorial service to offer condolences in person is another meaningful action.
What is grief ?
Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. Some examples of loss include the death of a loved one, the ending of an important relationship, job loss, loss through theft or the loss of independence through disability.
The grieving process
Mourners have special needs they must tend-to if, over time and support of others, they are to heal.
Acknowledge the reality of death.
Embrace the pain of the loss.
Remember the person who died.
Develop a new self-identity.
Search for the meaning in life and death.
Continue to receive support from others.
Funerals help us to meet these six needs. Funerals are the beginning of our healing
Helping yourself heal
The capacity to love requires the necessity to grieve when someone loved dies. You cannot heal unless you openly express your grief. Denying your grief will only make it become more confusing and overwhelming. Embrace your grief and heal.
Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself. Never forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever. It’s not that you won’t be happy again. It’s simply that you will never be exactly the same as you were before the death.
The experience of grief is powerful. So, too, is your ability to help yourself heal. In doing the work of grieving, you are moving toward a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in your life.
We offer bereavement services for the families we serve. In addition, we have provided some helpful grief support links below:
Webhealing.com, the first interactive grief website on the internet, offers discussion boards, articles, book suggestions, and advice for men and women working through every aspect of grief. The site’s founder, Tom Golden LCSW, has provided book excerpts and contact information to help those healing from loss.
Willowgreen offers support and information for those dealing with life transition & aging, illness & caregiving, loss & grief, and hope & spirituality. The site offers advice, products, and inspirational materials.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) website contains a Grief & Loss section with grief-related articles and information.
Growth House is an award-winning website that offers international resources for life-threatening illnesses and end of life care. The site features hypertext topic pages that explain major issues across the spectrum of hospice and home care, palliative care, pain management, grief, death with dignity, and quality improvement. It also offers disease-specific guides, an online bookstore, and even their own radio station.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s website provides a host of information and resources for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury and their caregivers.
Most people will experience loss at some point in their lives. Grief is a reaction to any form of loss. Bereavement is a type of grief involving the death of a loved one.
Bereavement and grief encompass a range of feelings from deep sadness to anger. The process of adapting to a significant loss can vary dramatically from one person to another. It often depends on a person’s background, beliefs, and relationship to what was lost.
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