Reaching out to others is often very difficult when we’re struggling with grief, but experience teaches us that the more support and understanding we have around us, the better we will cope. It is a sign of strength to reach out for help and resources in times of need. Most people feel strengthened, encouraged and supported when they learn about grief, understand how it affects them, identify coping strategies and learn new methods to help themselves through the grief experience.
If you find yourself in this position, please know that you have a number of helpful alternatives available to you.
Finding Support In a Group
Bereavement support group forms a healing circle that helps members bear up under the heavy burden of loss without giving way. The group provides a safe, structured place where normal, healthy people bound by the experience of loss can come together on a regular basis to share their stories, get their concerns and feelings validated, learn more about the mourning process, express and work through their feelings, and reflect with one another on the meaning of it all. Members have the opportunity to grow by giving help as well as receiving it.
Finding Professional Help
Unlike friendship, a professional counseling relationship offers you the opportunity to relate to a caring, supportive individual who understands the grief process, doesn’t need you to depend upon, and will allow you to grieve without interference. Within the safety and confidentiality of a therapeutic relationship, you can share your intimate thoughts, make sense of what you’re feeling and clarify your reactions. An effective bereavement counselor is knowledgeable about the mourning process, helps you feel understood, offers a witness to your experience, encourages you to move forward, fosters faith that you will survive, and offers hope that you will get through your grief successfully.