Coping with the loss of a close friend or family member may be one of the hardest challenges that many of us face. When we lose someone close to us our grief can be particularly intense. Loss is understood as a natural part of life, but we can still be overcome by shock and confusion, leading to prolonged periods of sadness or depression.
The sadness typically diminishes in intensity as time passes, but grieving is an important process in order to overcome these feelings and continue to embrace the time you had with your loved one.
Everyone reacts differently to death and employs personal coping mechanisms for grief. There is no “normal” time period for someone to grieve.
People may struggle with grief for longer periods of time and feel unable to carry out daily activities. Those with severe grief may be experiencing complicated grief. These individuals could benefit from the help of a psychologist or another licensed professional with a specialization in grief.
Grieving individuals may find it useful to use some of the following strategies to help come to terms with loss:
- Talk about the death of your loved one with friends and colleagues in order to understand what happened and remember your friend or family member. Denying the death is an easy way to isolate yourself, and will frustrate your support system in the process.
- Accept your feelings. People experience all kinds of emotions after the death of someone close. Sadness, anger, frustration and even exhaustion are all normal.
- Take care of yourself and your family. Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of rest help us get through each day and move forward.
- Reach out and help others dealing with the loss. Helping others has the added benefit of making you feel better as well. Sharing stories of the deceased can help everyone cope.
- Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. Possibilities include donating to a favorite charity of the deceased, framing photos of fun times, passing on a family name to a baby or planting a garden in memory. What you choose is up to you, as long as it allows you honor that unique relationship in a way that feels right to you. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by your emotions, it may be helpful to talk with a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional who can help you cope with your feelings and find ways to get back on track.
Professionals that are trained in dealing with grief help people better handle the fear, guilt or anxiety that can be associated with the death of a loved one. If you need help dealing with your grief or managing a loss, consult local grief support groups or contact a professional.
Grief Support Group
The grief support group is for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information, please call Maureen Dunne-McGraw at: 708-422-2504
If you need further assistance please contact the Parish office at (815) 485-8049
"Joyful Again" is a program designed to help widowed persons move through bereavement and toward a state of psychological, spiritual and emotional wholeness. For more information about "Joyful Again" select the link below to view their website.
GriefShare is a special weekly Community Ministry designed to help you heal after losing a loved one. The group is led by caring people who have experienced grief and want to help you through the difficult times. For more information about "GriefShare" select the link below to view their website.
JOLIET AREA COMMUNITY HOSPICE
The Joliet Area Community Hospice offers bereavement counseling and support to anyone within the Joliet area. For more information about "Joliet Area Community Hospice Bereavement Counseling" select the link below to view their website.