Can family and friends get the grieving person through the process and be supportive?
In some cases yes, but some grievers would need a support group for the bereaved and still others would need a professional psychologist or grief counselor. Professionals trained in grief counseling can help to get the griever from the hurt to the recovery stage.
Often the bereaved may feel that their life is over because their husband or child died. Or they may feel that they no longer have purpose now that their loved one has passed away. Professional grief counsellors can help them find purpose in life and begin to live again.
It would be prudent to encourage the griever to get professional counseling when the griever has lost all interest in the life, especially since several years have gone by and no change has occurred. Do not assume that is it your duty to get the griever back on his or her feet. If you have tried to encourage the griever to go back to the things he or she once liked to do before the death of the loved one, or try new things and all has failed, leave it to the specialists. They will the griever to build a new life without the deceased person. Obviously, life will be different after the death of the loved one, but it is important for the griever to be able to see a future without their deceased love one.
Remain involved in the recovery process
As a concerned caregiver or friend you may take an active role in the process under the guidance of the professional who will be overseeing the process. Professionals can counsel you on how to react to different situations and how to help get the person from grieving to healing. Depending upon the individual, this could be an easy process, a process with challenges ahead, or a very difficult transition, but one that is absolutely essential to restore good mental health to your loved one or good friend.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of the series
Certified Grief Counsellor and Educator in Montreal
Dawn Cruchet, BN, M.ED, CT
Canada Telephone Counselling Confidential
Montreal Therapy Center
The Montreal Counselling Clinic
Auberge Shalom Counselling and Resource Centre