Bereavement Services in Oakland Know That Healthy Grieving Includes Remembrance
In order to properly grieve, it’s necessary to remember the loved one who was lost and pay tribute to their memory. With National Days of Prayer and Remembrance coming up on September 9 through 11, it’s important to look back on those who have been lost and celebrate who they were and what they stood for. Perhaps your mother recently died of cancer after a long battle at home, or maybe your spouse passed peacefully after a stay in hospice. Whatever the case, it’s critical to recognize your loved one wasn’t always that sick person in the bed. They had a life, a full one, with friends, family, work and maybe even a little travel.
Luckily, there are many resources out there for those who are grieving. For example, Pathways Home Health and Hospice offers support groups, counseling, newsletters and memorial services as part of our comprehensive bereavement services. Here in Oakland, we know that healthy grieving includes remembrance. Although many people assume grief takes place as a single instance or short time of sadness in response to a loss, grieving includes the whole spectrum of the emotional process of coping with a loss, says Cancer.org. It can last a very long time, usually for life. While you may enter into acceptance of the loss at some point, you will always remember them in your heart. The normal grieving process allows us to let a loved one go and keep living our lives in a healthy way.
The Stages of Grief
It’s important to remember the length and intensity of the emotions people experience after loss varies widely. Some won’t show their emotions on their sleeves, while others find sharing a vital part of the healing process. No matter which response you have, bereavement support can be extremely beneficial in helping you navigate through the stages of grief. It seems the process of grief and mourning are universal, experienced by most people all over the world regardless of race, sex and culture. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote about the five stages of grief and loss in 1969 in her book On Death and Dying. They are:
- Denial and isolation
That said, not everyone goes through these in order. Everyone expresses their loss with varying levels of intensity, spending different lengths of time in each stage, according to PsychCentral. Part of acceptance is remembrance. As you begin to accept the loss that you have experienced, you start to realize that you don’t have to completely let your loved one go. They stay alive in your memories, in photographs and videos, and in stories.
Remembering Your Loved Ones
So, how can you embrace remembrance as part of your grief? It doesn’t happen overnight, and you may not be able to achieve it in isolation. It can be very helpful to find that others out there are feeling the same way you are. Take solace in the fact that you are not alone. Yes, your friends and family can certainly sympathize with what you’re going through, but they aren’t always able to empathize. Empathy is when you can identify with someone’s experience from their perspective because you have experienced the same pain yourself in the past.
Support groups can help with coping as you make meaningful connections with others facing similar challenges, points out the Mayo Clinic. Support groups can be general, such as loss of a loved one, or they can be very specific, such as loss of a child. Locate the right resources for you through your hospice care provider, social worker, doctor, hospital, nursing home, school or library. Come to Pathways Home Health and Hospice for in-house support groups that explore common issues affecting the grieving. These can range from lifestyle changes and coping skills to anger and loneliness. A big part of support groups is remembrance. Often times, it can be very comforting to relay a story to the group about your child, spouse or parent, bringing a smile to your face and those around you.
Being able to smile again at something your loved one did can bring you one step closer to closure. Because other members of the group are experiencing the same problems, they can suggest new ways of dealing with your grief, while the group as a whole can assist you in developing new skills to relate to others, according to WebMD. In addition to support groups, there are other ways to explore and deal with your grief, of which Pathways offers many. These include healing workshops, journal writing, meditation, and memorial gardens. Or, you may find one-on-one grief counseling, often offered by hospice care centers, would be more helpful to you. In addition, memorial services, such as Pathways’ Celebration of Light every December, as well as Afternoon Remembrances in the spring, can also bring closure and help foster memories.
Honoring the Loss
As part of the bereavement process, many people find solace in carrying on the legacy of the loved one to solidify a sense of remembering that will endure over time, says Psychology Today. From art and activism to prayer and community involvement, there are many ways you can achieve this sense of peace.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
Contact us to learn more about our bereavement support at 888-755-7855. Our bereavement services are available to anyone in the community in need of this support. It is free but we kindly ask for donations to the Pathways Foundations in an effort to provide continued support.