Honoring Your Loved Ones and Continuing Bonds
Losing a loved one can be overwhelming and emotionally fraught for individuals and families. When a loved one dies, we do not forget about or compartmentalize their memory. Instead, we slowly find ways to redefine our relationship with the loved one who has died, allowing for a continued bond with that person.
Experiencing Holidays After Loss
The holiday season is a special time for families and communities; however, it can be challenging for those who experienced the loss of their loved ones. Grief is constantly evolving and, at times, can be an unpredictable process and fortunately there are activities a person can do to help themselves or others get through this potentially painful period of time.
Back to School Grief
The beginning of a new school year can be stressful and overwhelming for children, families, teachers, and counselors, especially for those who have lost a loved one. This article provides tips and strategies as to how you can support a grieving child as they return to school.
Self-Care Tips for Grievers
When we think of self-care in grief it may not automatically make sense. How can we take care of ourselves when grief is so overpowering? It’s easy to leave ourselves for last, to focus on our children, on our jobs, on our loss. It may even feel unnatural to think of ways to love ourselves more, but grieving takes a tremendous toll on our minds and body. Like they say on flights, you have to put your mask on first before helping someone else.
In this article we will explore different strategies that can be used to reduce stress, anxiety, and help ground ourselves when feeling overwhelmed by complicated emotions.
Connecting in the Silence of Grief
The silence that comes with losing a loved one can be overwhelming and uncomfortable for many. Not just those who experienced the loss, but family and friends attempting to provide support during grief. How then can we connect with those grieving a loss in silence? Here are some recommendations to keep in mind as you seek to support those suffering.
Living in the “What If” After a Loss
It is natural to ask yourself "what if" after a loss. Traumatic or sudden losses can amplify thoughts and feelings of grief. When the past becomes your primary focus, it can leave you feeling stuck in your grief and deter healing, potentially leading to depression and anxiety.
Holiday Hints for those Grieving
The Holiday Season is sometimes difficult and often filled with emotional stressors, even during the best of times. For those of us who have suffered the death of a loved one, the holidays may seem especially complicated and can be filled with ambivalence and mixed emotions. Anticipation of a new experience, like the first holiday after a death, or familiar rituals that remind us of our loved ones, can be overwhelming.
Many bereaved families have found unique, and meaningful, ways of remembering their loved one during the holiday season. Here are some ideas which have helped others and may provide additional support.
Expectations in Grief
It is natural for many people to place certain expectations on what the experience of loss should be or what grief should look like. There may be a sense of relief that comes from predicting what is next or when the painful emotions will subside; however, most of us are unprepared for what the grieving process holds.
Disclosing Your Loss
As you work through the grief you feel after the loss of a loved one, you may encounter some situations where you choose to disclose your loss. No matter where you are in your grief process, these moments may be emotional.
Healing After a Sudden Loss
A sudden loss can occur due to accidents, illness, homicides, suicides, and other forms of unexpected loss. These tragedies can leave the griever in a state of shock and confusion. There may also be many unanswered questions and, in many cases, trauma surrounding the loss. As you process the sudden loss of a loved one, there are some strategies that you might find beneficial in helping you to heal.
Talking to Children About Loss or Crisis
Parents and caregivers often need support themselves when caring for children after a loss. In responding to a loss or crisis, whether it’s a death, natural disaster, violence, or trauma children and their families can benefit from the following information as a guide for conversation, and support, during times of need.
Tips for Seeking Grief Support
The changes and challenges that come following the death of a loved one can make it difficult to focus on obtaining the support needed. However, it is this support that can provide a guiding light as we make it through the darkest moments in our grief. Seeking out support can be overwhelming and confusing as you try to make the best decision for yourself and your family. Below, we provide some simple tips to demystify the process and help you choose the right grief support for you.
Physical Impacts of Grief
Grief impacts us in powerful ways as we experience our loved one’s loss. It is natural to think of the emotional impacts of grief after a loss, however, just as important are the physical changes that can occur as we grieve. Physical grief responses vary greatly from individual to individual and can happen at different intensity levels during the grieving process.
Grief Anniversaries and Secondary Losses
This period marks one year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 crisis a pandemic. For many over the past year, the grief following the death of a loved one has been amplified by secondary losses experienced during this time. COVID restrictions, job loss, isolation, and health concerns have led to loss of connection to those nearest and has a greatly impacted one’s grief experience. Processing the impacts of these secondary losses can allow room for healing. Below are some tips that can be useful as you reflect back on this past year.
Healing as a Community After Loss
Mourning the loss of a loved one can impact both the individual and community. The experience of a tragic loss, including those due to homicide, suicide, and, most recently, COVID-19, often leaves communities grieving and attempting to understand the tragedy. Though each community has different needs, levels of support, and relationships between its residents, some fundamental strategies can help individuals and families begin the healing process while also joining together with others in the community.