grief and death

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Grief & Loss

The Healing Process: Asking for Help

Grief and loss can hit a family like a lightning bolt. Everyone is suffering in their own way. If a parent or child dies the entire family is at risk. At risk of not getting their physical and emotional needs met and at not being allowed to grief in their own way and time. Asking for help may be the most important thing you can do right now. Often sympathetic friends, neighbors and family members want to help, but don't know what you want and what needs to be done. While it may place a burden on you to think about, and decide, what you want and need you must take some responsibility and tell them what you want.

Make a list of chores that need to be done to continue daily life, like shopping, cooking, laundry, packing school lunches, taking or picking the kids up from school, sports events, church etc. You can show the list to those who offer to help and let them choose what, how and when they can assist you at the difficult time. It is tough for some of us to ask for help, but there are times in life when we need to learn to accept as well as to give. Do what ever you need to do to see that you and your family is cared for, even if you can't do it all by yourself right now.


Here are a few other things that you can do to help yourself and your family:
  • Talk to family or friends
  • Seek counseling from a professional grief therapist
  • Eat well and exercise
  • Get enough sleep
  • Join a support group
  • Relax and listen to soothing music
  • Engage in social activities
  • Laugh and have some fun
  • Practice your religious and spiritual beliefs
  • Allow yourself to cry, get angry and grieve as you need to

Remember there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each one of us has an individual style of coping with painful times. The list above may help you generate ideas about how to manage your feelings of grief. You may want to experiment with these ideas or create a list of your own. Talking to friends who have dealt with loss in the past can help you generate new ways of coping. Only you know what coping skills will fit best with your personality and lifestyle.

Talking about your loss is a powerful way to heal. Talking about the relationship, memories both funny, happy and sad. Talking about the circumstances of the death or separation is good. While talking may be painful and bring tears or anger to the surface, you heal a little more every time you tell the story.