The experience of grief, loss, and bereavement is both universal and highly personal. There are many resources to support you, we will help you find the ones best suited to your needs.
An important thing to realize is that your experience is yours—you will find some people with whom you feel comfortable, some websites that resonate, some books that speak to you. Others will not and that is perfectly fine. There are simply no ‘shoulds’. Any sentence you hear or read that contains a ‘should’ you should ignore (except this one).
Another important concept is that of patience. There is no timeline; no expected moment when it will be ‘over’. These are often complicated feelings—it takes a while to take them in.
As for information, there are almost endless sources of information about grief, loss and bereavement on the internet. There is even a Yelp-like review of the ‘best’ online support groups.
Often, disease-specific organizations, such as the Cancer Society, which have been helpful during caregiving, will have information on grief and loss. Your county Department of Mental Health will have local resources listed. Your local hospice is also a source of information about bereavement support.
A number of online communities have been established. The Dinner Party is focused on 20-30 year old’s who have experienced loss. Option B highlights the development of resilience in the face of many kinds of loss and difficulties. Modern Loss describes itself as having candid conversation and that ‘beginners are welcome’. Each online community has a different feel so you can connect with the one that resonates with you.
There is also a large and growing literature about grief, loss, and bereavement. One of the best books is Seven Choices: Finding Daylight after Grief Shatters Your World by Elizabeth Harper Neeld. Again, find the ones that speak to you, and disregard the rest.
It is helpful to know that many community hospice organizations offer grief support to the community, even if you have not been a family caregiver for someone who died under the service of hospice. The availability of programs and resources can vary widely but check your local hospice to see what might be available. For example, many hospices host summer bereavement camps for children coping with a loss and those programs are often open to young people in the area.
Social media is another outlet that many people turn to in coping with loss. There are any number of groups that can be found amidst the wide range of social media outlets. For example, the “Option B Support Group: coping with grief” found on Facebook has over 27,000 followers.
Searching with the hashtag #griefsupport will help you discover a number of social media users that might offer support. However, it is always necessary to be cautious when using social media and generally it is best to not share personal information with any source or contact that you do not know.