Professional Bereavement Services Can Be a Life Saver
Whether you are facing an impending loss of a loved one in hospice or you have just experienced that loss, you may feel alone in your grief as you navigate a life without them. It may feel as though you are drowning in those feelings of despair, with no one to truly turn to who understands the pain you are going through. Sure, family and friends are there for support. But where else can you go to find others in the same boat as you? Where else can you go to be guided through the process of grieving? Bereavement services in Santa Clara and elsewhere is often the answer. From support groups to grief counseling, here’s why bereavement support services can be a life saver for many.
The Importance of Support During Times of Grieving
As you navigate the grieving process, you need lots of emotional support. This support is critical in your recovery and acceptance of the loss you have just suffered. While family members, friends, community organizations, and support groups can all help, often it’s mental health professionals such as therapists or counselors who provide the greatest resource. This is especially so when a person suffers from complicated or unresolved grief, which is when the grieving process goes on for a very long time without any progress, says the American Cancer Society.
Symptoms of complicated grief may include:
- Continued disbelief in your loved one’s death
- Emotional numbness over your loss
- Inability to accept the loss
- Feelings of preoccupation with the lost loved one or how they died
- Intense sorrow and emotional pain
- Inability to enjoy good memories about the deceased
- Blaming yourself for your loved one’s death
- Continuous yearning and longing for your loved one
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with a health care provider or mental health professional. Some mental health treatments are known to help those with complicated grief work through the process. Treatment is vital in this case, as those with complicated grief are at a higher risk of worsening emotional illness and thoughts of committing suicide.
But grief doesn’t have to be complicated to benefit from bereavement support. All types of grief can and should be addressed and supported.
What Professional Bereavement Support Can Do
Taking the first step to seek out counseling can kick off the process of healing. Bereavement counseling doesn’t solve everything, of course. It won’t make you forget about your loved one or allow you to skip over the pain of loss.
This type of therapy will help you find meaning while moving through the stages of grief so you can eventually heal. In fact, seeking therapy after loss can help you overcome depression and anxiety by processing the experience at your own pace, says Healthline. Your therapist can help you:
- Accept the Reality of the Loss. Sometimes even when we were very close with the person who died, we may feel numb at first. Or even though you are feeling overwhelmed by emotion inside, you may have a feeling of disconnect from the source. A therapist can help you come to terms with what you’re feeling after such a major loss. They can also refer you to an appropriate support group that meets near you.
- Identify and Cope with Trauma. Before your behavioral health provider can determine which treatment approach to take with you, they have to help you identify the traumatic parts of your experience. Perhaps you witnessed the dying and death and of your beloved spouse or child. Whatever the case, once you can identify those experiences, you can talk about them and start the process of moving past that trauma so you can start healing.
- Talk Freely about Your Loved One. When there’s no one around with whom you feel comfortable sharing your grief, a counseling session can be an alternative outlet. It’s often comforting to share your feelings and sadness with an impartial party who can just sit, listen and encourage. Sometimes when we are grieving, our family and friends don’t truly understand the loss that has occurred. They may watch and analyze your every move, or urge you to “move on” when you’re just not ready. This isn’t very helpful. You need to grieve in your own way and on your own timetable. With counseling sessions every week, you can do just that, taking your time as you work through your emotions. Plus, you can say what you feel instead of worrying what the therapist will think of you. Sharing your feelings with an impartial professional can validate those feelings and give you tremendous relief of the burden you’ve been carrying.
The loss of a loved one is a challenging hardship for many, probably the most difficult people have to endure in this life. When you take the necessary steps, it’s possible to rediscover a life that is full of joy.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
Pathways is happy to offer a variety of bereavement support services for those who have experienced loss. We offer support groups aimed at specific types of grieving (loss of a child, loss of a spouse, etc.), grief counseling, memorial services, and workshops, such as memorial garden creations, watercolor expression, healing with nature, and moving through grief with writing. To sign up for any of these, contact us at 888-978-1306.