Supporting the Grieving

Understanding Grief 

The death of a loved one can be a deeply emotional and difficult experience. The depth and range of emotions experienced can be confusing and exhausting. Grief often results in feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, and yearning. In the case of a caregiver who may have been a part of the hospice process for their loved one, there may even be the experience of relief. Confusion, the ability to concentrate, and being less patient with yourself and others are all part of the process. You may bounce between a wide range of feelings which may be common or can be unique to your journey.  

Respecting the Journey

We grieve in any number of ways. The relationship between the deceased and the potential for handling tasks related to their death may delay or intensify the process of mourning.   Different cultural and religious perspectives and expectations regarding illness and death influence the way in which we grieve. Some people are emotional and dive into their feelings while others appear stoic and seek distractions from their feelings. For some, writing, physical exercise, or music are comforting. Some people may find comfort from others, while some may prefer solitude.  Whatever the chosen path, everyone grieves in the own way and in their own time so it is important to respect the journey. 

Support for the Journey

Finding the right support from family, friends, or trained grief work professionals can all contribute to alleviating some of the most challenging aspects of grief. Seek out those individuals who are good listeners, energizers, or provide comfort, if that is what you need. If you need things done, seek out those who will help you with tasks.  Find the right support you need.

Anniversaries, Holidays, and other Challenges

As time has gone by, you may realize the anniversary of your loved one’s death is approaching.  It’s something we often anticipate with trepidation, but it may or may not be an emotional day for you.  When it arrives, allow yourself to embrace those feelings. 

You may be recognizing just how much the loss has changed you.  If the loss occurred during the holidays it may feel like a discord to attend a festive celebration or gathering.  It may be time again for a special occasion you shared and it may be especially difficult to face the date again, but you can make it your day to remember in whatever way you choose.  

There is no right or wrong way to recognize the anniversary, but you will probably want a plan. You might want to do something brief or take the day off and reminisce with family or friends. You might want to embrace the sadness or focus on something positive. Most importantly give yourself permission to do what’s comfortable for you. That could be continuing with old holiday traditions while spending time with family and friends, or trying something different. Whatever you decide, do what’s right for you and know that TRU Hospice of Northern Colorado is here to support you and your family members, as well.

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