You Are Not Alone
Learn more about healing resources and grief support groups available to the public. At Brown-Calhoun Funeral Service, our care continues long after the funeral. Our staff can recommend support groups and community programs to help you heal in the weeks and months after your loss. At Brown-Calhoun Funeral Service, we are here to help, however and whenever you need us.
What is grief ?
Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people, regardless of whether their sadness stems from the loss of a loved one or from a terminal diagnosis they or someone they love have received.
They might find themselves feeling numb and removed from daily life, unable to carry on with regular duties while saddled with their sense of loss.
Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. Some examples of loss include the death of a loved one, the ending of an important relationship, job loss, loss through theft or the loss of independence through disability.
The Grieving process
Grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and how significant the loss was to you.
Inevitably, the grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.
Helping yourself heal
There is a range of options for dealing with your grief in a healthy and conscious way. You may find that some will work for you, and some will not. Some of the activities mentioned below may be difficult or impossible, depending on your mental and emotional state, but the range of options available means you can choose and try as you see fit. Keep in mind that none of these suggestions is a surefire solution, as not everything works for everyone. Let go of your expectations, take your time, and find out what works for you.
Grief is associated with feelings of sadness, yearning, guilt, regret, and anger, among others. Some people may experience a sense of meaninglessness, and others can feel a sense of relief. Emotions are often surprising in their strength or mildness, and they can also be confusing, such as when a person misses a painful relationship.
Thoughts during grief can vary from “there’s nothing I can do about it” to “it’s my fault, I could have done more” or from “she had a good life” to “it wasn’t her time.” They can be troubling or soothing, and people in grief can bounce between different thoughts as they make sense of their loss. Grieving behaviors run from crying to laughter, and from sharing feelings to engaging silently in activities like cleaning, writing, or exercising.
Accepting a loss
Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death may be sudden and unexpected or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. It is not necessarily a mark of bravery to resist the inevitable and to deny ourselves the opportunity to make our peace. This phase is marked by withdrawal and calm. This is not a period of happiness and must be distinguished from depression.
Loved ones that are terminally ill or aging appear to go through a final period of withdrawal. This is by no means a suggestion that they are aware of their own impending death or such, only that physical decline may be sufficient to produce a similar response. Their behavior implies that it is natural to reach a stage at which social interaction is limited. The dignity and grace shown by our dying loved ones may well be their last gift to us.