What is Grief?
It is the total emotional, physical, social and spiritual adjustment, which is brought about by the loss of a significant person, animal, or object.
How Will Grief Counseling Help Me?
Counseling and support services may be useful to a person with normal grief reactions; it serves as a guide through a myriad of challenges.
The Phases of Loss
- Shock and Numbness
- Yearning and Searching
- Disorganization and Despair
Goals of Grief Counseling include:
- Accepting the reality of the loss and your 'new normal'
- Working through the pain of grief (e.g. identify effective coping strategies, understand how to overcome obstacles)
- Adjusting to a world when a loved one is no longer in our lives
- Reconciling the loss in order to find inner peace, meaning and purpose to move on in life
How To Support A Grieving Loved One
- When people are grieving, know that all emotions are often heightened.
- Acknowledge all feelings by using compassionate listening.
- Understand and accept cultural and religious perspectives about illness and death that may be different from your own.
- Be specific in your willingness to help. Offer assistance with chores such as childcare or meals.
- Recognize that life won’t 'feel the same' and the person may not get 'back to normal.'
- Know and accept that how your loved one copes with their loss may conflict with how you would cope, even in the same situation.
- There is no right way to grieve and mourn. Be very careful not to impose your expectations on someone else.