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GETTING THE GRIEF SUPPORT YOU NEED

I often tell my clients that grief will probably be one of the most difficult things they will face in lives.

leaves on a vine
Finding support in loss can make a big difference in your grief journey

Loss is hard! Grief can be the result of loss of a life partner, loss of employment, loss of a pet, loss of a relationship, loss of a child, loss of a baby, or a sundry of other things.


You will experience loss in your life at some time and some manner. Our life circumstances can change suddenly.


Although I do not believe we can always adequately prepare for loss, I do believe we can find support while grieving loss.


First, it’s important to talk about your loss. Sharing the details about your losses with safe, supportive friends and family can be very helpful. It’s okay to talk about your loss and how it has changed your life and outlook. Often finding a therapist can be very helpful in processing grief/loss. Many hospice organizations offer several months of bereavement counseling to families.


Second, find a good support group. Depending on what type of loss you are dealing with, it is often possible to find a support group that is specific to your loss, such as: groups for those who have lost loved ones due to specific illness like cancer, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and Huntington’s disease.


Also, there are group for individuals who have lost friends and family to suicide. Grief groups can also be designed specifically for parents who have lost children and spouses who have lost their partners.


One nationally known grief support group is Griefshare (https://www.griefshare.org/findagroup).


Third, don’t be hesitant to ask for help. Loss of a spouse can be very daunting when you are responsible for your entire household, including parenting, household maintenance, lawn care, finances, car maintenance and many more things. We all have friends and family who would like to help us. When they ask how they can be helpful, be sure to ask specifically for what you need.


Four, use your faith as a support. Ask for help from your Priest, Pastor, Rabbi or other religious leader. Often you can find grief support groups sponsored by religious organizations.


Five, work hard to be aware of where you are emotionally and physically. Find ways to process your grief such as: meditation, journaling, nature walks, and spiritual retreats. Grieving can definitely affect our physical bodies. Be aware of what your body is telling you and don’t be hesitant to check symptoms out with your primary care doctor.


Last, there are many good written resources for grieving loss as well as online podcasts, websites that directly assist with grief. “Good Grief” by Granger E Westberg (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21339038-good-grief) is a really helpful book that can help guide us in processing our grief. It’s a fairly short book and an easy read for those who are various stages of grief.


Even though we often isolate ourselves after a loss, we were made to need and thrive on healthy social interaction with others.


Seek out accepting, non-judgmental, safe, and calm, caring individuals to spend time with on a regular basis.


Even though grief is a difficult emotion and life situation, there are many individuals, organizations and resources that can lighten our load and provide much needed care and support for us as we navigate through the life’s losses.

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