Helping Yourself Socially

When we loose a loved one the relationships we shared with other people can change.  This can cause additional feelings of loss as others who are grieving may pull away, or friend and family do not meet support expectations.  In the case of a loss spouse, the couple relationship no longer exists.  Being single often changes relationship dynamics as well.

Don't Move In
Interval depression is all right for a period, so let yourself visit, but don’t unpack your bags and stay.

David A. Penny

Forgiving Others for their Oversights
We understood that our friends and family did not have a primer to show them how to better respond to us throughout our first year of grief (and beyond), so we were forgiving when they didn’t “get it right.” Besides, we knew that we had been less than empathic toward other grievers, that is until we’d lost our own spouses. For example, almost every one of us expressed regret for having, out of ignorance, failed to understand the needs of a widowed parent or friend in the past. “I was clueless about what my mother had gone through after my father died. If only I’d known then what I know now, I would have been so much more helpful. I feel guilty for neglecting her feelings. ”

Susan Anderson

  From the Editors Desk

  From Our Experience

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Even if it isn’t our loss, we feel in a new way what others are going through. I have asked myself, “How can I help others when I feel I can’t help myself?” I realized, especially with others that are suffering, just being there to talk, listen, and let them know they aren’t alone is a huge help. Knowing there is someone else that understands can be the help they need to keep on going.

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I never planned on being ‘single’ again and I find that I don’t fit in with my married friends like I used to. That has been another loss, but with that loss I have been cured of my blindness to other people that are alone. There are so many lonely and hurting people and now I can reach out to them.

  Rebuilding Your Social Support Network

After death and tragedy our social needs can change. People pull away, we change, and our circumstances change.  Here are some tips to help you rebuild or add to your existing social support group.

  • Join a church or religious group
  • Join a grieving support group
  • Get involved in an online group where you can reach out and help support others
  • Befriend others who are going through trials and be a support to them
  • Be understanding and forgiving of the errors and oversights that  existing support members will make.
  • Be open and honest with existing support members without being overly demanding
  • Repair relationship with family and friends
  • Develop a hobby and share it with someone
  • Volunteer at Service organizations or in the schools

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