Support Groups Help Families Heal When Someone Dies

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SUPPORT GROUPS HELP FAMILIES HEAL WHEN SOMEONE DIES

Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D,   Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.”

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SUPPORT GROUPS HELP FAMILIES HEAL WHEN SOMEONE DIES

Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D,   Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.”


The grief journey is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. With hope the following tips from Dr. Wolfelt will help you as you move toward healing in your personal grief experience.


Realize your grief is unique.

No one will grieve in exactly the same way. Your experience will be influenced by the relationship you had with the person who died; the circumstances surrounding the death; your emotional support system; and your cultural and religious background. Don't try to compare your experience with that of other people.


Talk about your grief.

Express your grief openly. By sharing your grief, healing occurs and often makes you feel better. Speak from your heart, with caring friends and relatives who will listen without judging. Avoid persons who are critical or who try to steal your grief from you.

Expect to feel a multitude  of emotions.

Experiencing loss affects your head, heart, and spirit. So you may experience a variety of emotions as part of your grief work. Confusion, disorganization, fear, guilt, relief, or explosive emotions are just a few of the emotions you may feel. As strange as some of these emotions may seem they are normal and healthy.


Allow for numbness.

Feeling dazed or numb when someone dies is often part of your early grief experience. This numbness serves a valuable purpose: it gives your emotions time to catch up with what your mind has told you. This feeling helps create insulation from the reality of the death until you are more able to tolerate what you don't want to believe.


Be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits.

Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you fatigued, unable to think clearly and make decisions. Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Nurture yourself. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals. Lighten your schedule.  

Make use of ritual.

The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of someone loved. It helps provide you with the support of caring people. Most importantly, the funeral is a way for you to express your grief outside yourself.


Embrace your spirituality.

If faith is part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs.


Allow a search for meaning.

You may find yourself asking, "Why did he die? Why this say? Why now?" This search for meaning is often another normal part of the healing process. Healing occurs when questions are posed, not necessarily when answered.


Treasure your memories.

Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after someone loved dies. Treasure them. Share them. Recognize that memories may make you laugh or cry.


Move toward your grief and heal.

The capacity to love requires the necessity to grieve when someone loved dies. You cannot heal unless you openly express and embrace your grief. One way to do this is attending a support group, a program designed to help people cope with their loss.


Milward Funeral Directors will host a Support Group the third Tuesday of every month between March and October 2018 at 6:15 pm at its 1509 Trent Boulevard, Lexington location. The Support Group is open to the public without cost or obligation.

JOEY TUCKER

Joey Tucker has been serving the Lexington community as a funeral director for Milward Funeral Directors since 2007 and has been a licensed funeral director since 2002. Milward is the 37th- oldest continuously operated family business in the United States which operates three locations in Lexington. Joey can be reached at 859-252-3411.

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