If there is one thing I can relate to now, it is loss. Losing a loved one is very difficult. You have to deal with all these important decisions and choices though all you want to do is just cover up your head and hide from the entire world. You want to close your eyes and make it all just disappear. Just go to sleep, wake up, and find it all a horrible nightmare. But you can’t do that because you have a funeral to attend. You have business to take care of. Life must go on. That there is the worst part. Life must go on and does go on. You must deal with all your regular responsibilities. You must eventually return to work and pay bills. You must go shopping so you can eat. Life goes on. Other people may mourn around you, but they move on before you are ready to. They say, “Well it happened and you just gotta move on, let go, and get over it.” It’s easier said than done. Let’s just face it folks. There are some things you never forget! There are some things you never get over! You just try to go on the best you can. You try to cope the best you can.
The best way I can actually suggest for you to cope is to find God! Yes… Find God… You may feel angry or hurt with Him right now. But whether you like to hear it or not. God loves you, and your loved one is in a better place. Heaven is a place where there is no sin… That means no violence or hatred or betrayal or crime. It is a pure place. There is a reason for everything. It’s hard to accept or even hear at the time of your loss, but you will find your answers and comfort in the arms of the Lord.
But this article is not about finding comfort in God. This article is about online resources that may help you cope with the loss of a loved one. I have gone on-line to find these websites for you to be able to use in your time of need. I hope that they will be of help.
These first three websites are informational websites. They will help you to understand the feelings of grief and and loss that are bearing down upon you at this very moment. Use them as a guide to understand yourself. Understanding is a key to coping with this very difficult time.
Article: Coping with Grief and Loss
Support for Grieving and Bereavement
“Losing someone or something you love is very painful. After a significant loss, you may experience all kinds of difficult and surprising emotions, such as shock, anger, and guilt. Sometimes it may feel like the sadness will never let up. While these feelings can be frightening and overwhelming, they are normal reactions to loss. Accepting them as part of the grieving process and allowing yourself to feel what you feel is necessary for healing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve – but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain. You can get through it! Grief that is expressed and experienced has a potential for healing that eventually can strengthen and enrich life.” -Helpguide.org
This article on Helpguide.org defines grief, outlines the stages of grief, lists the symptoms of grief, and gives you tips on getting support, taking care of yourself, dealing with unending grief, and how to get professional help.
According to Helpguide.org, “Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. You may associate grief with the death of a loved one – and this type of loss does often cause the most intense grief. But any loss can cause grief.” The article goes on to say that everyone grieves differently and the more significant the loss, the more intense the grief. How you grieve depends on factors such as: your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. “Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried – and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving.” The article goes over myths and facts of grief.
The five stages of grief as listed by Helpguide.org are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In denial, you say, “This can’t be happening to me.” In anger, you say, “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?” In bargaining, you say, “Make this not happen, and in return I will _____.” In depression, you say, “I’m too sad to do anything.” In acceptance, you say, ” I’m at peace with what happened.”
“It is best not to think of grief as a series of stages. Rather, we might think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Like many roller coasters, the ride tends to be rougher in the beginning, the lows may be deeper and longer. The difficult periods should become less intense and shorter as time goes by, but it takes time to work through a loss. Even years after a loss, especially at special events such as a family wedding or the birth of a child, we may still experience a strong sense of grief.”
This article also takes you through each of the symptoms of grief in an easy to understand definition of each one. The symptoms of grief as listed by Helpguide.org are: shock and disbelief, sadness, guilt, anger, fear, and even physical symptoms. Shock and disbelief refer to the difficulty in accepting what happened. Sadness refers to the feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or deep loneliness. Guilt refers to the regret you may feel over things you didn’t do or say. Anger refers to the anger and resentment you may feel over the person’s death. Fear refers to the feelings of helplessness or insecurity. There are even physical symptoms which include: fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.
Helpguide.org suggests, “The single most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of other people. Even if you aren’t comfortable talking about your feelings under normal circumstances, it’s important to express them when you’re grieving. Sharing your loss makes the burden of grief easier to carry. Wherever the support comes from, accept it and do not grieve alone. Connecting to others will help you heal.” As forms of support, the article suggests you turn to friends and family members, draw comfort from faith, join a support group, and last, but not least… talk to a therapist or grief counselor.
To deal with grief, Helpguide.org gives you a list of tips. According to the article, you should face your feelings, express your feelings in a tangible or creative way, look after your physical health don’t let anyone tell you how to feel, and don’t tell yourself how to feel either, and plan ahead for grief “triggers”. The article takes you through each tip outlining in detail how to deal with your feelings.
This article also address major depression and complicated long-term grief. Symptoms of complicated grief as defined by the article are: intense longing and yearning for the deceased, intrusive thoughts or images of your loved one, denial of the death or sense of disbelief, imagining that your loved one is alive, searching for the person in familiar places, avoiding things that remind you of your loved one, extreme anger or bitterness over the loss, and feeling that life is empty or meaningless. Symptoms that suggest depression are: intense, pervasive sense of guilt, thoughts of suicide or a preoccupation with dying, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, slow speech and body movements, inability to function at work, home, and/or school, seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
This is a very helpful article on Helpguide.org. To read the entire article go to http://helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm.
Article: Coping With Loss: Bereavement and Grief
“In our hearts, we all know that death is a part of life. In fact, death gives meaning to our existence because it reminds us how precious life is. The loss of a loved one is life’s most stressful event and can cause a major emotional crisis. After the death of someone you love, you experience bereavement, which literally means ‘to be deprived by death.'” -Healthyplace.com
This article on Healthyplace.com outlines the emotions you feel as you grieve, defines mourning, explains how you can live with your grief, and how to help others including children with grief.
Emotions, according to Healthyplace.com, you may feel as part of your grief include: denial, disbelief, confusion, shock, sadness, yearning, anger, humiliation, despair, and guilt. Healthyplace.com assures, “These feelings are normal and common reactions to loss. You may not be prepared for the intensity and duration of your emotions or how swiftly your moods may change. You may even begin to doubt the stability of your mental health. But be assured that these feelings are healthy and appropriate and will help you come to terms with your loss.”
Healthyplace.com defines mourning as the natural process you go through to accept a major loss. “Mourning may include religious traditions honoring the dead or gathering with friends and family to share your loss. Mourning is personal and may last months or years.” Since mourning is the natural process, grieving is the outward expression of your loss.
This article explains how you can live with your grief. According to Healthyplace.com, “Coping with death is vital to your mental health. It is only natural to experience grief when a loved one dies. The best thing you can do is allow yourself to grieve. There are many ways to cope effectively with your pain.”
The article suggests that you seek out caring people like your relatives and friends to lean on for support or join a support group. You should express your feelings by telling others how you feel. You should take care of your health. You need to accept that life is worth living and postpone any major life changes. You need to be patient and seek out help when necessary. Healthyplace.com further explains each in depth.
Finally, Healthyplace.com tells you how you may help others grieve by easy-to-follow steps. The steps as listed in the article are: share the sorrow, don’t offer false comfort like “it was for the best”, offer practical help like cooking or babysitting, be patient, and encourage professional help when necessary.
I have to say this: Never, ever say to someone that “it was for the best.” For God’s sake… I do not care if it is true. Do not ever, ever say that. That is the most awful thing you can say to someone who has lost a loved one. When we lost our sons, people actually said this to me. I know they meant well, but that’s just a horrible thing to say. Think about it! If you have never lost a loved one, I know you don’t know what to say, but do not say that! It is not comforting at all! It’s upsetting. You would understand if you were in the grieving person’s shoes. Put yourself there and think before you speak.
According to Healthyplace.com, “Limited understanding and an inability to express feelings puts very young children at a special disadvantage. Young children may revert to earlier behaviors (such as bed-wetting), ask questions about the deceased that seem insensitive, invent games about dying or pretend that the death never happened.” This article suggests you talk to the children about death and the person who has died so you can help them work through their feelings.
This is a very helpful article on Healthyplace.com. To read the entire article go to www.healthyplace.com/depression/grief/coping-with-loss-bereavement-and-grief/menu-id-68/
Article: Grief: Loss of a Loved One
Writers: Medical Author: Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD and Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
This article defines grief and mourning, outlines the effects of losing a loved one, lists the causes and risk factors of prolonged grief, lists the signs, symptoms, and stages of grief, and tells you how you can cope with your grief
“Grief is the normal internal feeling one experiences in reaction to a loss, while bereavement is the state of having experienced that loss. Although people often suffer emotional pain in response to loss of anything that is very important to them (for example, a job, a friendship, one’s sense of safety, a home), grief usually refers to the loss of a loved one through death. Grief is quite common, in that three out of four women outlive their spouse, with the average age of becoming a widow being 56 years. More than half of women in the United States are widowed by the time they reach age 65. Every year in the United States, 4% of children under the age of 15 experience the death of a parent.” -MedicineNet.com
MedicineNet.com refers to complicated grief, which is long-term grief, as prolonged grief. With prolonged grief the sufferer’s close relationships are affected, his or her beliefs are disrupted, and it tends to result in the bereaved experiencing ongoing longing for their deceased loved one. According to MedicineNet.com, “About 15% of bereaved individuals will suffer from complicated grief, and one-third of people already getting mental-health services have been found to suffer from this extended grief reaction.”
MedicineNet.com refers to mourning is the outward expression of that loss. “Mourning usually involves culturally determined rituals that help the bereaved individuals make sense of the end of their loved one’s life and give structure to what can feel like a very confusing time.” How people mourn depends their personal, familial, cultural, religious, and societal beliefs and customs.
This article outlines the five stages of grief as distinguished by Kübler-Ross, but also goes depth about the seven stages as newly defined. The original five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The newly defined stages are: shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope. MedicineNet.com further explains each. The shock stage is explained as the numbness often associated with initially receiving the news of the death of a loved one. The guilt stage is defined as referring to feelings of regret about difficult aspects of the relationship with the deceased.
According to MedicineNet.com, “Symptoms of grief can be physical, social, cultural, or religious in nature. Physical symptoms can range from mild sleep or appetite problems to heart attack. Social symptoms of bereavement include isolation from other loved ones and difficulty functioning at home, school, and/or at work.”
MedicineNet.com suggests that you cope with your grief by taking care of yourself, getting extra rest, use a supportive structure, and communicating with surviving friends and families are some ways for grief sufferers to ease the grief process. The use of supportive structure can also go a long way to helping the aggrieved individual come to terms with their loss.
This is a very helpful article on MedicineNet.com. To read the entire article go to www.medicinenet.com/loss_grief_and_bereavement/article.htm.
These next two websites are more about support. They either provide online support through chat forums or they provide other support materials and resources for you to use as you journey through your healing process.
Through Griefshare.com, get support emails, find a griefshare support group in your area to go to physical meetings, and shop at the online bookstore for countless resources on grief management.
“GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. GriefShare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable GriefShare resources to help you recover from your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life.” -Griefshare.org
On Griefshare.com, you can search for Griefshare meetings in your area. During the meetings, you are part of a support group of people who are also grieving over the death of loved ones. You get to find comfort in a caring understanding environment. During the meetings, the Griefshare group watches videos featuring top experts on grief and recovery subjects. After watching the videos, members of the group discuss the videos and what is going on their lives. There is also a workbook for members to use to journal feelings and do a more personal study. An individual may join at anytime during the meetings. It is not necessary for the person to be there from the beginning. Griefshare.org encourages, “Don’t try to go through the grieving process alone. Link up with a GriefShare grief recovery support group. It’s a place where you’ll find caring people who understand the issues you face.”
You can get support email from “A Season of Grief,” which is Griefshare.org’s free daily email messages designed to encourage you and guide you through the healing process. This email messages are great for helping you to cope with each and everyday.
The Griefshare.org online bookstore has many great resources available including: books, CDs, and videos on grief and recovery topics. These expert resources will help heal you and provide you with personal study.
The website also features section, entitled “Our Help for the Journey,” that provides daily reading and exercises to help you with the grief recovery process. “As you rebuild your life after the loss of your loved one, you’ll want to be sure that you are building on a solid foundation, one that supports you no matter what lies ahead.”
Section: Palliative Care
“This is a safe environment where you can ask questions, offer advice to others, or just vent your feelings. Members of this forum are eager to hear what you have to say. Join the conversation today!” – About.com
This is a basic chat forums. You can get support by sharing with others who can relate to what you are going through. Read or reply to current forums or start a new forum by entering in a new message. Pretty much everyone knows how to enter a chat forum. It can be great therapy just to let it all out to a group of people who are dealing with the same issues. You share each other’s sorrows and in the process, you heal!
Some of the forum topics include: recent loss of a child, 15 years later and grief still raw, How do they cope, whats acceptable when to say enough, mother with young children dies, how do you get over this, 3 questions about death, help with loss, I am so lost, so sad, anniversary of death, can’t find comfort, I don’t know what to do now, creating a memorial for your loved one, etc. The list goes on and on. This just a great website for chat forums you can use to help you as you heal!
Dealing with loss is a very difficult thing to do. It will be one of the hardest things you have ever had to go through and one of the worst times of your entire life. Do not face it alone. These are some great resources to help you, but if you do not use any of them, do at least get help somewhere. Do not face it alone because you do not have to do so.
List of Sources
Coping With Loss: Bereavement and Grief
Grief: Loss of a Loved One