How to Survive the Death of a Loved One
Part 1: About Grief
After my mother died, I attended a 6 week hospice grief support group, and a couple of months later attended the whole six weeks again! Despite the fact that I’d been a bereavement counselor myself and knew a lot about grief, it made a world of difference to feel the support of others going through the experience of loss. We all need to be “accompanied” through difficult life passages, and my hope is that this article will help to support those of you who are facing the formidable task of recovering from the death of a loved one. Although we grieve many losses throughout a lifetime, such as losing a job or a home, the death of a loved one is especially difficult. It is probably the most painful of all human experiences. Whether it is a parent, child, sibling, friend or a pet, a whole host of feelings is triggered by loss, and the only way to truly heal from the loss is to fully experience those feelings.
Everyone’s journey through grief is unique and no two people will grieve in exactly the same way. There are, however, reactions to loss which are common to everyone. Knowledge of these responses can ease the way considerably by letting us know that our feelings and thoughts are normal and expectable. Since grief can sometimes make us feel as if we are “going crazy”, it can really help to know about the complex set of reactions which are a part of the territory. This knowledge can also help us to flow with the feelings of grief rather than trying to suppress them. The only way to get through grief is to go straight into the heart of it!
For support through the experience of grieving, we offer the following topics:
Internet Grief Resources
Meditation Oasis Podcast — listen to various guided meditations, including a special guided meditation for grief
http://www.griefhealing.com/ — our favorite — lovely, informative website
http://www.hospicenet.org/html/bereavement.html — especially well-written and informative website
http://www.americanhospice.org/griefzone/articles/helpingself.htm — how to help yourself with grief
http://www.compassionatefriends.org/ — support with the death of a child
http://www.compassionatefriends.org/Brochures/adults_grieving_the_death_of_a_sibling.aspx — support for loss of a sibling
http://www.griefnet.org/library/biblio/index.html — extensive book list by topics