Grief is a process, not an event. When a loss occurs - a divorce, a move, a death - there is a series of thoughts and feelings that is predicted and expected as one copes with the change and struggles to find the new "normal" without the loved one. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified the stages of Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression and Acceptance as the steps in the process of healing. The final step - acceptance - has been further delineated into Relief and Resolution. This process varies from person to person and situation to situation. It is never as short as the 3 or 4 "bereavement days" typically given by employers and may take up to 2 (or more) years to come to full completion. However you go through this process, I encourage you to:
1. Get Support - don't push others away
2. Allow the feelings - don't "be strong" and push it all inside
3. Make a memory box- a tangible place/space for mementos that give you an ongoing connection
to the loved one
4. Make a date with your grief - set one or two times everyday to feel, grieve, cry, be numb, etc.
This will allow you the space you need while preventing the emotions from "flooding"
and taking over your day
5. Remember that most people are not comfortable with the concept of loss. As such, they will
say/do many things that are not helpful or possibly hurtful. Don't invest emotional
energy in this. They are doing the best they can
Recommended by clients:
this is a great little cottage setting on the grounds of Stella Maris - they have a ton of free
pamphlets and written materials targeted towards grief support & an a library of books that
are free to loan.
This is wonderful and free! Run by one of the March's Funeral Home's daughters. Weekly
support group for adults grieving loved ones. They may have several targeted support groups
for kids as well as adults. It is faith based. This is in the heart of the city- located across from
"Blacks in Wax Museum." This place was a warm and inviting place to be - you are met at the
door by a short elderly grandmother type - with a smile and a big hug!
Located in Hunt Valley across from the mall. Also FREE! 6-8 week support group for
Widows/Widowers only. This center also has other types of support groups.
I found the group above through an online support group for Widows/Widowers. www.youngwidow.org
This is a great worldwide resource. Through the bulletin board widows/widowers reach out to
one another to tell their stories and share experiences. The creators of this site seem to be
diligent in trying to protect and respect the privacy of its users. Anyone can browse but before
becoming a member and posting on the site one must sign up with verified information and
wait for confirmation for acceptance to the site. As with many online sites - its members are
from all over the world.
For Loss of a Child Due to Addiction:
Between Two Pages (Hubenthal)
When a Child Dies From Drugs (Wittberger and Wittberger)