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When is the Best Time to Seek Bereavement Services?

Perhaps you have a loved one in hospice right now, or maybe your loved one has recently passed. In either case, you are grieving and you need support. Bereavement services in Alameda County can help immensely, whether you choose to join a support group, engage in grief counseling or participate in a memorial workshop. Grief affects everyone differently, but one thing remains the same: support can help get you through the tough times.

You may wonder, though: when is the best time to seek bereavement services? Well, there really is no set time, as everyone progresses through the stages of grief in their own way. But it’s a common question among the grief-stricken.

Timing for Support

Experts suggest people leave some space for the natural grieving process to take place, usually about six months after the loss. But again, this is just a general time frame. If you feel like you need the support a month following your loved one’s death, seek it out. If you don’t feel the full impact of the loss until a year later, seek it then. There is no shame and there is no deadline. Oftentimes, trauma is involved in a loss and will require earlier intervention, such as with the sudden death of a child.

Physicians can recommend support for a patient, or the patient may seek out advice and recommendations from the physician or any other source of support, such as the hospice care team, a social worker, or anyone else.

Seeking bereavement support is a way to restore balance in one’s life after loss. It can be very difficult for people to resolve grief and regain balance in their lives all on their own. For them, the way to restore that balance is to seek bereavement counseling and professional support so they can get the space and time they need to grieve and plan a life without their loved one in it. They can effectively recognize the loss and bring their grief to an effective resolution, although this doesn’t mean it ends. For many, grief is a circle without an end. Yes, the pain dulls but the grief is still in the background.

For others, they simply can’t move on because they feel stuck, usually, because they feel guilty moving on, almost like they are disrespecting their deceased loved one. In turn, they continually punish themselves with regret and guilt and can’t move past those feelings. But grief can’t stay hidden deep within you forever; the only way to push through it is to let it out, says Very Well Health.

In the end, there is no set timeframe for grief support. If it feels right, it’s time.

Finding Meaning Again

Moving on by seeking therapy or group support can help people overcome depression and anxiety because they are able to process the experience at their own pace and on their own schedule, according to Healthline.

Professional support can:

  1. Help with the identification and coping of trauma: It’s important to first identify the traumatic experience you have gone through before a therapist can come up with an effective treatment approach. You may have seen your child suddenly die or you may have witnessed the long, slow death of your spouse. Only once you can pinpoint the parts of those experiences that have scarred you the most can you hope to talk about those feelings and begin to step past the trauma and start with grief healing.
  2. Help you accept the loss and what that means in reality. It’s normal to feel numb and desensitized after loss, especially if you were very close with the person. It’s also normal to feel overwhelmed by emotion as you disconnect from the source of the pain. Counselors can help you come to terms with your feelings after loss, as well as connect you to the right support group.
  3. Help you talk about your loved one. Sharing your feelings with family and friends may work at first when the loss is fresh. But as others move on with their lives and you are left largely alone to process the loss, counseling sessions can be welcome outlets where you are allowed to talk freely about the loss without thinking you’re being a burden. It’s helpful to have an impartial party whose job it is to simply sit and listen while they encourage you to just talk. If you’re being told to “move on” by friends and family but you’re not ready, counseling can be a lifeline that will pull you the rest of the way. A counselor is there to validate your feelings and relieve you of the burden on your shoulders.

Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice

Pathways offer several modes of bereavement support services for those going through grief and loss. Support groups are designed to address specific types of grieving, plus we offer professional grief counseling, memorial services, and workshops. To inquire about any of these, contact us at 888-978-1306.