When someone you love dies, allowing yourself to mourn is a natural way to express your grief. Mourning brings healing, and healing requires the support and understanding of others as you journey for the knowledge of how to embrace the pain of your loss.
At Alternative Hospice we want to aid you in this healing process. Utilizing the companioning model, developed by Alan Wolfelt, we will walk beside you as you begin this process of healing. If you have had a loved one in our Hospice program, you may choose to meet with one of our professional grief support team members on an individual basis. These caring individuals offer resources and practical information, help you express your feelings and to support you through the difficult first year of your loss.
Symptoms of Grief
While grief affects our bodies, minds, and spirits, it also affects how we manage day to day living. Grief is different from one individual to the next. Every person will experience different symptoms at different times. Grief can bring on many changes such as:
• Shock, denial, numbness and disbelief
• Anger, guilt, and loneliness
• Anxiety, fear, panic
• Physical reactions such as headaches, illness, fatigue, weakness and confusion
• Change in sleep patterns
• Changes in appetite, nausea
• Uncontrollable or unexplainable fits of crying
• There may even be feelings of relief and then guilt for feeling relieved
Ways to Nurture Oneself
Be gentle with yourself – There is no time limit on grief, it takes as long as it needs to take. The path is seldom clear, but what is clear is that by moving through our grief and reconciling it into our lives we find healing
Find ways to express and not repress – Don’t hold your grief in! The Process of healing grief comes through integrating your grief into your life. Share what you are feeling with people you trust and value.
Maintain daily routines – Consistency is important in relieving stress. Eat, sleep and exercise with regularity, even though this may prove challenging. Drink lots of water, grieving is hard work and water will aid in the healing process.
Supportive Relationships – Reach out to others. Your family and friends are there to encourage and support you. Encourage all who have been touched by the loss to join with you in grieving. We were not meant to grieve alone.
Rely on your Spirituality – No matter how strong we may be or feel, grief can challenge everything we hold as true. Reach out to things that give meaning, value, and purpose to your life. These will be the resources that aid you in integrating loss into your life.
Slow Down – Grief can be overwhelming. Your mind is not at the same place as your body. Recognize that you cannot make decisions and that you need more time to do simple tasks.
There is no such thing as closure – The pain of our loss will not go on forever. As we begin to reconcile the loss into our lives the pain begins to lessen.