When one has experienced the loss of someone who was dearly loved the grief suffered is usually severe. Grief is a journey not easily travelled. It is very desirable and important to eventually embrace the loss, accept it as a part of one’s life and live the changed life as fully as possible.
This does not detract from continuing to love the person who has gone and it does not diminish the memories. It is important to provide the opportunity for family and friends to meet and mourn the loss.
Funerals and receptions are the usual way to do this initially. These events are not for the deceased. They provide consolation for everyone. Unfortunately, though, it is often the case that friends, and sometimes members of the family, withdraw because they do not know how to speak to the griever about the loss. They want that person to return to the kind of person they knew before the loss, not realizing that their life has changed forever.
It is also common for those not as closely associated with the deceased to ‘move on’ after the funeral much more quickly than those who suffer the loss most acutely. The grieving person may have to struggle on alone. A common misunderstanding is that grief will resolve or lessen in a few months. However, the grieving person may experience sadness, anxiety, lethargy or even anger for months running into years.
One way to gain assistance is to become a member of a Grief Support Group whose members have all experienced a severe loss. Each one is grieving and has considerable understanding of the pain others are experiencing. For many it is very helpful to share with others who are suffering. It is comforting to know that there are people who are a little further along in the journey to healing and that you will get there too.
The Greater Trail Hospice Society provides a Grief Support group. It is not highly structured, has a simple set of ground rules including, most importantly, confidentiality, and meets .twice a month on Wednesday afternoons. The meetings are drop in. Participants are free to come to meetings that fit their schedule. It is a place to share, to reflect, or to sit quietly if you want. It is a place to receive support, but also a place to give support when you thought you had nothing left to give. Some people join months after their loss, and others come when grief has been their journey for several years.
If you, or someone you know, feels that grief support might be of benefit call our Volunteer Coordinator at 364 6204. She will arrange a meeting for more information.