The Power of Grief
The following was submitted by the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Home in Hudson as a way to "give back to the community."
When a loved one dies, our lives are changed forever - we are no longer the same persons wewere before the death.
Grief is the normal, healthy response to different types of loss. Such losses include not only the death of a loved one, but also the loss of health, loss of a special relationship, loss of a job, loss of self-esteem and the changes that invariably take place as a result. It is themost universal ofhumanexperiences and the one forwhichwe are least prepared.
Grief work is the healing process by which one comes to terms with loss. You don't "get over" grief - you adjust to it. You can't avoid grief - you have to live through it. Griefwork enables one to resolve and integrate the loss into one's life. Successful griefwork will help you to enjoy the memories of your loved one without the pain.
The process of griefwork is highly individual and depends on such things as the nature of the relationship with the person who has died, the circumstances surrounding the death, your emotional support system and your cultural and religious background. Most of themore intense symptoms of acute grief will lessen within six to twelve months, but youwill experience fluctuating emotions that resemble a roller-coaster ride for a long time.
You will experience surges of unexpected strong emotions that can be "triggered" by small and large events, eg. a certain piece of music or smell, the sight of someone resembling the person who died, the changing seasons, the absence of your loved one at a celebration. These "grief triggers" can occur for the rest of your life. The intensity may continue to be very strong, but the duration will be shorter as time passes.
There are no rules in grief. Some people are comforted by having many pictures of the person who died around while others can't bear to look at photos at first. Some people need to remove the belongings right away while others are unable to do so for a long time. You need to be true to yourself and do what is best for you. DawnCruchetBN, MEd, CT, Grief Educator& Counsellor