This National Grief Awareness Day on August 30 is dedicated to raising awareness of the myriad ways in which individuals cope with loss. It offers resources to those going through personal losses and reminds us to support people we know who are grieving.
Here are some tips from our Bereavement Coordinator, Anita McGee, that we hope are helpful.
Grief Support Tips
1. Grief is an experience, not an emotion. It is expressed through our emotions, but grief is our minds’ way of expressing the internal stress of loss. The experience of grief can be triggered by many different things: music, movies, clothing, smells, pictures, and driving … you know what has been impactful with your loved one, so be aware that you may be doing fine one moment, and bawling the next because of an experience that is being recognized, sometimes subconsciously and you are responding to it.
Try to be thoughtful about what you are feeling.
2. Journaling is a great way to understand what you are feeling. It provides the opportunity to sort through what we are feeling on paper. It helps us to look at what is taking place within us. Journaling gives us the opportunity to say things we may not have had the chance to say, or that we were not comfortable saying. Journaling gives us a way of staying connected to our loved ones while creating a space for healing.
You are unique and so is your experience of loss.
3. Be kind to yourself. Take the process of grieving as slow as you need to. Remember, it is an experience so you may be doing fine emotionally for six months and catch a smell, go to a restaurant, cook a meal that was familiar to your loss, and find yourself feeling like the loss was yesterday. Avoid people who tell you to move on, or that you should be over the loss. Loss is unique to the person, if what you lost was valuable to you, cherish it, celebrate it, and take your time. Kindness and gentleness, with patience, is the best gift you can give to yourself.
Never feel pushed to move past what you are feeling.
We are pleased to offer a beautiful new service, Grief Coach. If you are suffering from a loss, visit our Grief Coach page and see if this new service would be helpful for you.