Thursday, August 20, 2015

Grief and loss: Grieving properly beats trying to forget | www.daytondailynews.com

 "While grief took center stage for me and her close family not terribly far off were feelings of guilt. For some time we continued to be tormented with the thought that because we were all so consumed with our father’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease we, albeit unintentionally, neglected to notice our mother’s health decline.
In a blog titled “Grief Healing,” a reader shared her feelings following the death of her parent. The blogger writes, “It’s safe to say that, when someone dearly loved dies, every single one of us can find something to feel guilty about — but feelings aren’t always rational, accurate or justified, and they aren’t necessarily right or wrong, they just are.”
That message can be validating for many people, particularly for caregivers. Grief educator Alan Wolfelt writes, “The if-only’s are natural for people to explore, even when there is no logical way that you are responsible for the death. But what is often felt is a lack of control over what has happened.
There is a common expression that “time heals all wounds.” Often, the intense feelings of uncertainty, sadness and grief will hopefully become less painful with time. However, some people who have suffered a loss may require additional interventions to help them to move forward as they “re-enter the world.”
It is suggested by some bereavement counselors that it may be of benefit to progress slowly when returning to familiar routines and delay (as best able) in making significant life changes. Take time to remember, reminisce and give in to emotions. Psychologist Maria Lamia writes, “Grief is an emotion that sends a vague alert to help you to remember, rather than to forget. What most people do with grief is attempt to forget — to get over it — which is quite contrary to the purpose of the emotion. Rather than try to forget, one must attempt to remember and cooperate with what your emotion is trying to convey.”
Allow time to grieve, take time to honor a loved one’s memory, cry today and, if needed, cry tomorrow. While not easy, try to avoid thoughts that revert back to phrases such as “if only” or “maybe we should have.”"



Grief and loss: Grieving properly beats trying to forget | www.daytondailynews.com

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