Grief Support Services
The Process of Grief
Most people think they know something about handling grief until they have experienced it. No matter how well prepared we are for the loss of a family member or friend; we can be caught off guard by the depth of our emotions. We find ourselves reacting in ways we had not anticipated and often find that our relationships with others, and even God, undergo trying times.
The grief process has a life of its own. It is a unique and profound time. We face what we have lost, our own mortality, and the challenge of learning to live without that special person. The journey can be overwhelming, confusing and even frightening, because our feelings are so intense and often out of control.
It takes time, compassion for yourself and a willingness to allow this grief to evolve into a healing experience and a renewed life.
It’s Good To Know
Grief is physical as well as emotional. Problems with sleep, energy, concentration, mood swings, and other physical symptoms are normal.
Healing happens over time. It can take a few weeks, a few months or a few years. It is a journey from what was—into what will be.
Every grief experience is unique. How you react is based on the relationship you had with your loved one, how that person died, the emotional support available to you, and your cultural and religious background.
Just as in life, we must go through a variety of feelings about losing a loved one. It is common for a person to feel sorrow, anger, guilt, confusion, and fear as they heal. It is also common to feel peace, comfort and resolutions.
You may feel numb or dazed for periods of time. This is the way our mind protects our heart from the pain and the exhausting process of grief. It is also a way to rest and take a break from the reality of the loss.
Grief heals us. Expressing your grief and coming to terms with your new life will allow you to find meaning in your loss and discover ways that your loved one can live on in your heart.
What Will Help
Our society does not prepare us for grief.
You may find that well meaning friends and loved ones either avoid you because of their own fears or give advice that does not fit with what you are experiencing. Here are a few things that people who have experienced grief personally advise.
Take care of yourself.
Sleep and eat when you can, even if just a little. Don’t pressure yourself when you can’t. Drink lots of water and try short periods of light exercise.
Set priorities and don’t push yourself.
It is believed that 60% of your energy is taken up in grieving. So you will have little left for day to day living.
Talk about your grief and the one you lost.
Sharing what you are going through is the most powerful form of healing.
Find a balance between the solitude that is needed to grieve and contact with a support system of family and friends.
Journaling, looking at pictures, and reflecting on memories are good ways to spend time alone. Being with people who encourage you to express yourself and also discover ways to find meaning in life are good ways to spend time with others.
Let people know what you need.
This includes your employer, and coworkers as well as your family and friends. Often people want to help, but do not know what to do unless you tell them.
Exercise your faith.
Our relationship with God is challenged during this time. You may need to question, seek out spiritual guidance from your clergy or simply just sit in your house of worship.
Look for ways to celebrate the one you have lost and the progress you are making in your grief.
The funeral is the first step in this process. Later you may do things like set up a memorial fund, plant a tree, light a remembrance candle every day or some other very personal and private ritual.
Resolve to heal.
Avoiding grief only makes it more complicated and overwhelming. If you have loved, sooner or later, you must grieve. It is a continuation of your relationship with the one you lost. Embrace your grief and you will discover how that person can live on in your heart and into the future.
Our funeral home staff is committed to helping individuals and families cope with grief over time. The funeral is only the beginning of a long journey of grief—not the end.