The Po­wer of Grief

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

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

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