Grief Self Help
Factors that Help Us Grieve
At Bill Jacobs LPCC, we have helped many people with grief. But there are things people can also do for themselves.
- Good friends, family members, or a personal counselor can help to do this vital work.
- Take time to experience your thoughts and feelings, positive and negative.
- Many people find that keeping a journal to document the healing process.
- Confide in a friend; tell the story of the loss.
- Crying is a healthy way to release emotions.
- Work towards the resolution of unfinished business.
- Expect and accept some reduction in your usual efficiency and consistency. When we are grieving, it's generally not a good time to take on new responsibilities.
- There are many helpful books on grief. If grief is understood it is easier to handle. There are many books that deal with specific situations such as the loss of a mate.
- Allow yourself to enjoy life without guilt.
- The people closest to you want to help. Let them know what is helpful to you.
- Plan for special days such as holidays /anniversaries. Feelings can be intense at these times.
- Pray, meditate or take quiet time.
- Connect on the Internet or locally with a grief support group. There are many resources for people in grief.
- Talk to your minister.
- Do something to help someone else.
- If the healing process becomes too overwhelming, seek professional help.
- Consider some form of memorialization. Going to the grave, lighting a candle, keeping items valued by the deceased, etc.
Factors that hinder the healing process:
- Avoidance or minimization of one’s emotions.
- Use of alcohol or drugs to self-medicate.
- Listening to people who tell us to "get over it."
- Using work, schoolwork, or other activites to avoid emotions.
How Do You Do Grief Work?
Growing from losses is a natural process. Most of us do it in some form every day. We say something foolish, for example, and then we adaptively process it until it no longer embarrasses us.
One way of understanding the work to be done is to think of grieving as a series of tasks we need to complete.
- To acknowledge and express the full range of feelings we experience as a result of the loss.
- To 'say good-bye,' and to move to a new peace with the loss.
- To accept the finality of the loss.
- To adjust to a life in which the lost person, object, or experience is absent.
- To find some way to remember a loved one through memorialization.
Important facts about grief.
How to tell if you or someone you know is grieving.
Sometimes if the natural grieving process is inhibited, grief can take unhealthy forms.
How we help with complicated grief.
Research shows there are a number of things grieving people can do to help themselves.
Facing pain in children is difficult for adults. Consequently, children are sometimes not given the help they need to process their grief.
Where to find help in Albuquerque.
An example of unresolved grief.