Although it is common for people to want to find their own way through grief and avoid seeking help, grief support can make a remarkable difference. Experiencing the death of a loved one can overwhelm our ability to cope; some things are simply bigger than we are and require more resources than we have available.
For some people, the feelings of loss do not seem to ease, they do not seem to ever feel better. Extreme grief keeps them from functioning and returning to the normal tasks of living. Some people may find themselves doing dangerous things or thinking about harming themselves. Help from someone trained to offer bereavement support may be necessary.
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.
Finding Help for Yourself or a Loved One
There is help and support if you or a loved one is grieving a loss. Counseling and support services can help guide you through some of the challenges of grieving as a person adjusts to the loss in their life. Grief support and counseling can be provided by professionals. Self-help groups are often available in many communities and those can be helpful because group participants are there to support one another.
Consult a hospice in your local community; most hospice bereavement programs provide grief support to the community, regardless of whether a person’s loved one was cared for by hospice or not. You can get help finding a provider on NHPCO.org.
Some additional sources of support:
- Many people rely on friends and members of their inner circle to help them cope with a loss. Ask someone close to you if they would be willing to listen to you share your feelings. Let them know that you do not expect them to fix the situation but by listening, it will be an important support to you.
- If you have a faith community that you are a part of, that can be a source of support. Reach out and set up time to speak with a pastor, priest, rabbi, or other pastoral counselor.
- Many workplaces have Human Resource departments or Employee Assistance Programs that may offer counseling support or other resources to help you understand your grief and help you on the road to healing.
- Talking with your doctor may be helpful. In additional to offering advice, he or she may offer suggestions for counselors or grief therapists in your community that offer support.
- If your need is urgent or you are thinking about harming yourself, please call 911 or the national crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255.