The Grieving Process of Every Story, Every Family, Every Tragedy is Unique…

As individuals we come to this crossroads traveling different paths. Our individuality makes grief different for every person, and so no one person grieves exactly the same.

Grief is not something that can be buried or bypassed; it must be gone through.
There is no quick short cut through the grieving process, but there are learned skills and coping mechanisms to help you to manage your grief episodes. Understanding what is ‘normal’ to experience in grieving can help to give you hope and the strength to use those coping skills as you move through the grieving stages. Over time grief becomes more manageable and the episodes become further apart. The loss of a loved one is not something you will ever ‘get over,’ but it does get easier to bear with time. As you begin to heal, you will find moments of joy. Through out this journey, it is important to remember that at times circumstances will trigger your grief and you will have lapses of sorrow again. The skills we teach in this section and the Healing section will help you overcome those episodes and continue to move forward. These skills also help with issues between children and grief.
We Must Experience Grief to Move Through It
And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.

 

Anne Lamott

As individuals we have to take care of all the aspects of our lives if we are to remain whole. If we neglect one, we are likely to suffer and cope less effectively. Being balanced and using effective coping will help us move forward through grief.  

When we ourselves are grieving it is often easy to forget that others are grieving as well, and that their grief is different than our own. Children grieve very differently than adults, and the age or maturity level of the child greatly determines how they grieve. Understanding how children grieve differently can lessen conflicts, hurt, and misunderstanding within the family. Identifying early warning signs and getting professional help early is critical to helping children move forward and preventing future emotional damage.

When a close friend or family member has lost a loved one, people want to offer consolation and help. Not knowing what to do or say, people often say or do the wrong things or simply avoid those who are grieving. These interactions can cause a lot of additional hurt. Knowing the best ways to offer help and when to offer that help can strengthen friendships and family relationships. This page has links to help family and friends understand what is normal to expect with grief and how to best off help and support.

Question & Answer

When do I need to get professional help?

Suicide Prevention

Grief can cause feelings of hopelessness that turn some people to thoughts about suicide. If you are in this place, please reach out and get help. There are people who love you and hope can be restored.  If someone you love is in this place, there are things you can do to reach out to them.