Spring 2015

Coping With the Loss of a Loved One

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. How o get through this time is something we all look for at some point. We have all heard about the different stages of grief Denial, Pain, Anger, Depression and Acceptance. Getting to the last one is not always easy. We talk about taking things one day at a time and working our way from one step to the next. The truth is the path is not always a straight one. More often it is filled with taking 2 steps forward and 1 or 2 steps backward. Sometimes it can feel like we are in two stages at once, even on the same day.

What we have to realize is the grieving process is different for every individual. There is no one blueprint that works for everyone. There is no time line as to when someone should move from one step to the next. Each individual is different, each relationship is different and hence forth the process will be different each time. Realizing there is no normal should actually be the first step.

Having family and friends around to help us through the process can be a great comfort. Using them when you need to is perfectly normal. You shouldn’t feel guilty for asking for help when you need it. Family is often more than happy to help in any way that they can.

If you do not have that kind of relationship with your family there are other sources of help out there. Churches and communities often have support groups that you can attend. There are different types of groups to attend, ones for spouses, young or old, ones for loss of a child, or ones for loss of parent. Individual counseling can also be of benefit for some people. Whatever you feel most comfortable with to help you through this journey.

At times your grief can seem so overwhelming that you need more help then what has already been mentioned. Sometimes we need the help of medications to get us through the process, this is completely normal. No one should feel guilty or embarrassed by the need for medication. It is not a sign of weakness, it is just another option for treatment on the journey. Even when medication is needed it does not mean that it will be forever. Often medication is used to help get over the hump and stopped when no longer needed.

The stages of grief are a process that is different for each of us. No one can tell you what is the timeline or normal for you. It’s an unfortunate journey that we all have to go through at some point. When we get to the last stage acceptance, it does not mean we have forgotten our loved one or that we aren’t sad that they are gone. It means we are able to think about our lost loved one without the pain, are able to anticipate good times to come and find enjoyment in the experience of living.

For those currently dealing with the loss of a loved one, our thoughts and prayers are with you.