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Bereavement Information


Handling Grief Five Assumptions That May Complicate Grief


1) Life prepares us for loss. 

More is learned about loss through the experience than through the preparation. Living may not provide preparation for survival. Handling grief resulting from the death of a loved one is a process that takes hard work. The fortunate experience of a happy life may not have built a complete foundation for handling loss. Healing is built through perseverance, support, and understanding. The bereaved need others: Find others who are empathetic.


2) Family and friends will understand. 

A spouse dies, children lose a parent, a sibling loses a sibling, a parent loses a child, and a friend loses a friend. Each response will be different according to the relationship. Family and friends may not be capable of understanding each other thoroughly. Allowance must be made so that grief may be experienced appropriately and processed in its time. The bereaved need others: Find others who are accepting.


3) The bereaved should be finished with their grief within a year or something is wrong.

During the first year, the bereaved will experience one of everything for the first time, alone: anniversaries, birthdays. occasions, etc. Therefore, grief will last for at least one year. The cliché, "the healing hands of time," does not go far enough to explain what must take place. The key to handling grief is in what work is done over time. It takes time and work to decide what to do and where to go with the new and changed life that is left behind. The bereaved need others: Find others who are patient.


4) Along with the end of grief's pain comes the end of the memories. 

At times, the bereaved may embrace the pain of grief believing it is all he or she has left. The lingering close bond to the deceased is sometimes thought to maintain the memories while, in fact, just the opposite is true. By learning to let go and live a new and changed life, memories tend to come back more clearly. Growth and healing comes in learning to enjoy the memories. The bereaved need others: Find new friends and interests.


5) The bereaved should grieve alone.

After the funeral service is over, the bereaved may find himself alone. He may feel as though he is going crazy, painfully uncertain in his world of thoughts and emotions. The bereaved begins to feel normal again when the experience is shared with others who have lost a loved one. Then, in reaching out, the focus of life becomes forward. The bereaved need others: Find others who are experienced.

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