DEALING WITH GRIEF

UNDERSTANDING GRIEF
– an initial period of painful preoccupation and social withdrawal is common
– dreams and visitations are common
– outwards signs of distress are not necessary for the grieving process
– grief often returns in waves rather than progressing through stages to ‘closure’
– grief may be prolonged out of feelings of loyalty or responsibility

DEALING WITH GRIEF
– give yourself time and postpone major decisions
– dealing with the funeral and estate can help by giving structure
– expect feelings of guilt and anger about the deceased person
– do not force yourself to be cheerful or to find closure
– expect further waves of grief at anniversaries, holidays and other reminders
– find ways of making the qualities you admired in the deceased live on in the world
– seek support from others

Grief involves not just the loss of someone you care about but also loss of parts of one’s self and one’s world.  Close relationships create a shared identity with shared routines, social networks, memories and plans for the future.  Reactions to loss often include imagining that the deceased person is still present.  Ceremonies and other forms of memorialization can be helpful in acknowledging the loss and re-locating the deceased person.

SEE ALSO
– Bereaved Families of Ontario
– Coping with Grief and Loss
– Suicide Survivors Face Grief, Questions, Challenges