Working Through the Grief Process

By Staff Writer

12 Factors that can facilitate the grief process:

  1. Allowing time to adequately experience grief thoughts and feelings
  2. Feeling sadness and having tears can be therapeutic.
  3. Support from family and friends
  4. Maintaining healthy nutrition, exercise and sleep
  5. Utilizing counseling support and guidance
  6. Journaling grief feelings
  7. Putting off unnecessary decisions to reduce emotional pressure
  8. Dividing work to be done into smaller, easier to achieve, goals
  9. Planning and enjoying normal activities without guilt
  10. Accepting the reduction in your usual efficiency
  11. Setting aside time each day to experience and express stored up feelings
  12. Being kind and compassionate to yourself and envisioning a hopeful future

5 Factors that can interfere with the grief process:

  1. Avoiding/minimizing emotions
  2. Using alcohol or drugs to mask or medicate grief feelings
  3. Defensiveness or resentment to those who try to help
  4. Use of work or other activities to avoid feelings
  5. Unrealistic promises that were made to the deceased

10 Ways to help others through the grief process:

  1. Communicate your sympathy to the grieving person
  2. Be available for support or to help
  3. Acknowledge the mysteries of loss and grief
  4. Be patient with the grieving
  5. Avoid making judgments about how the person should feel
  6. Do not mention how loss could have been prevented
  7. Do not try to rationalize positive aspects from the loss
  8. Do not compare his/her grief to someone else’s grief
  9. Do not push the grieving to talk or force physical gestures such as hand holding
  10. Never take any defensiveness or anger from the grieving as personal

If grief persists too long, or becomes too intense, it can lead to anxiety or depression.  If this occurs, it may be a sign that counseling is needed to ensure a healthy grieving process. Counselors are ready to help.

To schedule your confidential appointment, call (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182, or send an email.

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