How Grief Counseling Can Help You Recover From Loss

It can be very difficult to move on after the loss of a loved one. The grieving process is different for everyone, and there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. You might feel sadness, anger, or even guilt — and in some cases, adjusting to the new “normal” feels impossible. If that’s the case, it may be time to consider grief counseling.

Having someone to talk to is an important part of the healing process. If you’re blessed with a close friend or family member who can lend a compassionate ear, you’re very fortunate. Sometimes, however, it helps to speak with a grief counselor who can offer a safe space in which to express yourself freely and find your own path to healing.

A support group can help ease the pain as you share your experience with a non-judgmental community of people who are in a similar situation. Their support and understanding can help ease your feelings of isolation, and may even provide you with coping skills to get through these difficult days.

By giving each other permission to grieve, you also give yourself permission to move on. Talking with others may help you discover new ways of honoring your loved one’s life, and may help you understand what other members of your family are feeling.

At Evergreen, we have resources to help you work through your grief and begin to heal. Our counselors are here to help, and our online support resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you navigate this difficult time in your life. Call (520) 428-7438 or visit our website to learn more about all we have to offer.

Coping with Valentine’s Day When You’ve Lost Your Spouse

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and for many, it’s a time to celebrate love. We dine with our sweethearts, give Valentine’s gifts to family members, and generally glory in all the people we hold dear. For someone who has recently lost a spouse, however, Valentine’s Day can be very difficult. Memories may crowd in, making the loss even more painful.

If you are a widow or widower, we grieve with you this Valentine’s Day. We know how hard this day can be, and how lonely you may be feeling. That’s why we’ve put together some suggestions to ease the pain and make the day a little bit easier:

  • Focus on taking care of yourself. Enjoy a favorite meal, schedule a spa day, or just make yourself a cup of tea and read. Plan something special, just for you, to make yourself feel good.
  • Think of the other loved ones in your life. Maybe you used to spend Valentine’s Day focused on time with your spouse, but try to think about others who could benefit from spending time with you. Maybe you could plan a movie date with a friend, invite someone to dinner, or make Valentine cards with your grandchildren. Celebrate the other loves of your life and everything they mean to you.
  • Take some time to remember good times with your spouse . Sometimes, remembering your spouse and the times you shared can be very healing. If it’s not too painful, you could spend some time on Valentine’s Day looking through old photos, dining at a restaurant you both enjoyed, or just remembering all the fun you’ve had in years past.
  • Get out of the house, and do something fun. Go outside, take a walk or treat yourself to an outing you’ll enjoy such as a movie or a massage. Make the day all about you and celebrating your life.
  • If you haven’t lost a loved one but know someone who has, this is a good time to reach out. Something as simple as a card, an invitation to lunch or a coffee date can brighten someone’s day and let them know you care. Surprise your friend with flowers, go for a walk, or have your child draw a picture. Find a small gesture that will make that person smile.

If you’ve lost a loved one, the pain and grief can be difficult to overcome, especially at Valentine’s Day. When that happens, it’s good to reach out for help, whether you call a friend or seek counseling. At Evergreen, we offer grief counseling to help you get through this difficult time. Call (520) 428-7438 or visit our website for more information.

Reaching Out to Someone Who Has Suffered a Loss

When a friend has suffered a loss, it’s natural to want to reach out. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to know how to support your friend. You may feel helpless and not know where to begin, but there are some very simple ways you can help.

  • Sometimes, just being there is enough. Listening while your friend talks is important, especially when it’s about feelings of loss and memories of the person who has died. Don’t try to have all the answers, and don’t say “It was for the best” or “Everything happens for a reason.” When someone is grieving, it’s not the time for platitudes but rather for compassionate and active listening.
  • Offer specific, practical help. When you say things such as “Let me know how I can help,” it may feel overwhelming to the person who is grieving. It’s better to think of specific things you can do. You may want to bring a meal, offer childcare or clean out a closet. On the other hand, you may want to offer a respite from grief in the form of an outing, perhaps for coffee or lunch. Try to find things that are actually needed, and offer them clearly.
  • You might want to offer deferred help. Often, there’s a rush of help right after the loss, so it may be useful to wait and find ways to help later. Sometimes, just staying in touch with your friend after the initial rush of well-wishers has passed is comforting.
  • The healing process can be easier when there’s a good support system. You may want to enlist the help of others on behalf of your friend. Organizing meals, helping with housework, running errands or doing other chores can be a boon to someone overwhelmed with grief. It also gives others the opportunity to step up when they may not have been sure how to do that.
  • Pay attention to your friend so that you can encourage professional help if it comes to that. Sometimes, people get lost in grief. They may not feel life is worth living and may be unable to engage in everyday activities. When this happens, it’s time to call in a professional counselor who is trained to deal with complicated grief.

At Evergreen Mortuary, we are committed to supporting people who have lost a loved one by helping them to plan life-honoring tributes. We also provide grief counseling services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through our online resources. Visit our website or call us today at (520) 399-6652 to learn more about all we have to offer.

The Healing Power of Community

The loss of a loved one is a deeply personal, traumatic event. Each person grieves differently, and because of that, grief can be extremely isolating. There’s often a temptation to shut oneself off from others, cocooning to try to heal. Yet, separating yourself from others is not the best way to work through a loss.

The reality is that grief shared is grief lessened. The presence of others can create a safe space for you to grieve and get stronger so you can begin to heal. Your family may provide this haven. It may be your community of friends, but it can also be a grief support group. Others who are experiencing something similar to what you’re feeling can help you find your feet through camaraderie that makes you feel like you’re not alone.

Even the act of reaching out to others can be healing. Often, we turn inward, and the pain spirals and becomes more intense. When we look outward, finding a way to help someone else, it takes the focus off our own pain and reminds us that everyone has suffered a loss of some kind and needs support. That’s the beauty of community: other people want to be there for you, and you have the power to be there for others.

In our busy, modern world, we can tend to rush past our feelings. We bury pain and ignore grief, believing that if we just keep moving, we can blot it out and pass it by. In truth, there’s something very comforting about the traditional rituals surrounding death and loss. The memorial service, with friends and family members gathered to honor the life that was lived, can be extremely meaningful. The support of the community afterward, as people rally to provide meals and comfort, can also be a powerful healing force.

Sometimes, the path to healing begins with an end-of-life ceremony, which can take many different forms. In some cultures, people spend time with their loved one after death, bathing, dressing and preparing the body for burial or cremation. Others sit with their grief, in solidarity with one another. Still others choose to tell stories and sing songs, sharing their memories of the person who has died to lessen each other’s pain. The power of this communal mourning is strong and can set friends and family on the path to healing.

At Evergreen Mortuary, we work with you to create a life-honoring tribute as unique as your loved one. For more than a century, we have served the community, caring for families from all walks of life. Call us today at (520) 399-6652 and let us help you create the tribute your loved one would have wanted in a way that embraces your community of support.