The Grief Journey

grief_smWhen a loved one has died, you begin your grief journey. This process is painful, disturbing and sometimes confusing. In order to heal you need to become an active participant in your healing process (your grief journey). Understanding your grief, how and why you are feeling the way you do can encourage you through this journey.

Traveling on your grief journey, you will experience obstacles that are known as shock, numbness, disbelief, searching, yearning, guilt, anger, depression and finally, reconciliation. Eventually, you will learn how to live without the physical being of your loved one; but with the love and memories that you have with them. Throughout your journey, give yourself permission to embrace your grief by:

Crying – Allow yourself the healing effect of tears. Tears are a natural way of releasing the tension that comes with sorrow. You will feel better afterwards and will have started your healing process.

Talking – Talk about your loved one and how you are feeling. Develop a support system within your family or with a close friend. Choose someone who will be an active listener; one who is not judgmental, critical and might extinguish your need to mourn openly. Remember, it’s your grief! You have the right to express it the way you want.

Remembering – Memories are the lasting part of a relationship with the person who has died. They may be happy or sad, but don’t be afraid to experience your memories. Hold them in your heart throughout your journey.

Journal – Release your emotions on paper. Keep a journal of what is going on inside. Go back in a few months and compare it with how you feel at that point. This is a good way to see how far you have traveled in your grief journey.

Join a support group – It may be helpful to share with others who are going through the same process. A support group will also give you opportunities to learn new ways of approaching problems and help you not only regain confidence within yourself, but trust in your neighbors, family and friends.

Seek out resources – Books, videos, tapes, magazine articles and other materials will aid you with your grief work. You may want to see a professional counselor to discuss special problems or seek advice.

For more information about the support services available from Anderson-McQueen, please call Carole McLeod at 727-347-6636.

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