February 10, 2020
Tips & Advice
Thoughts and suggestions from Jennifer as you process your loss.
- Be willing to open up and share your grief experience. Discussions, open dialogue and communication ultimately lead to healing.
- Grief is something with which we must deal. At some point, whether in the immediate aftermath of loss or years down the road, our grief will catch up with us. Acknowledge this. Allow yourself the chance to walk through this journey and resolve the thoughts and feelings you have.
- Consider professional bereavement counseling, Although friends and relatives are wonderful resources and certainly well-intentioned, there are many benefits to speaking with a trained professional. Support groups are also beneficial. It is helpful to be amongst others who are traveling or have ventured on a similar path. Often times we hold back our deepest emotions from the ones closest to us so as to shield them. Group discussions may lead to more honest conversations about one’s own thoughts and feelings.
- Speak their name….so long as they are remembered, they are alive in your heart.
- Children grieve too, don’t deny them the opportunity. It is our human inclination to shield children from all that which is painful and uncomfortable. However, removing children from the process of grief will have longterm affects down the road. Children should be handled with age-appropriate, sensitive honesty. Avoid euphemistic language such as the decedent is ‘sleeping’ or “gone to rest”, as this may instill a fear of sleeping in a child or cause them to believe their loved one will ‘wake up’. Children should be given an opportunity to know the truth and to express whatever feelings and emotions come to mind. It is ok if a child dismisses news about death, or doesn’t have a reaction upon immediately being told. Likely there grief will be manifested behaviorally or down the road. Just acknowledge though that they, just like their grown up counterparts, are grieving, too.
- Pet loss is real and it is painful. However, if you’e never had or owned a pet, it is a difficult concept to understand. Don’t be dismissive of grief people feel for their animals. It is an indescribable pain to lose a pet.
- There is no time limit for grief. Grief is the price we pay for loving. It is quite possible, and highly likely, you will forever grieve for the loved one(s) you’ve lost. You learn to live again in the new “normal” without them physically here, but the longing for them never truly goes away.
- Be good to yourself. You can’t go back and change what happened, bring someone back, take back things you said or in the alternative, say the things you wish you had. This life is part of a greater plan and every lesson, hardship or bad experience, somehow is rooted in purpose. Don’t punish yourself, accept the things you can not change. If you’ve suffered a loss, take time to heal. Go for walks, consider exercise or mindful activities such as meditation or yoga. Go for a massage, or treat yourself to something enjoyable. Do not neglect yourself and your own needs.
- There will come a day in the aftermath of loss where you find yourself laughing, smiling, or perhaps even loving again; whether it be a person or just life in general. Embrace it. Life is meant to be lived.
- Always remember...LOVE LIVES ON