Where to Find Help When Mourning the Death

Are you wondering what to do in order to deal with the wrenching pain, or if what you are feeling is normal? Are you not sure who to rely on with the deep feelings you need to share? How can you find the help you need? There are many answers to these questions.

To begin with, be assured there is nothing wrong with seeking help. We need each other, especially when someone we love has died. And even if you have an adequate support system, there is much about grief you may still need to learn if you had poor grief models as a child. So what can you do? Here are six sources to call upon as you see fit. It is your grief, and you need to grieve in your own individual way.

1. Obviously, the first choice for assistance should be those who you feel you have the most trusting relationships with. But then, decide who the best listeners are. Who will let you express your pain, witness it, and not try to fix it? Not everyone can do that. Who will hang in there with you for the long haul? All friends and relatives have their plusses and minuses when it comes to care giving. However, there are some you will have to rely on more than others, based on how they can meet your needs.

2. Early in your grief you may have no interest in reading. But at some point, it can be very useful to become aware of the wide range of normalcy in the grief process and the most used strategies for coping with loss. We all need education in these areas since very little is done in a formal way in the schools. Here are two books I recommend to all members of my support groups: The Mourning Handbook by Helen Fitzgerald and Life After Loss by Bob Deits. They are full of effective practical strategies to help your transition.

3. Join a grief support group. Even though you may have an adequate support network, you may also profit greatly from a grief support group. They have trained facilitators and you will learn much from them, as well as other members in the group. And, you may also find a grief companion in the group that you can talk with between meetings. There is nothing like finding someone who is also grieving and that you relate well to. Check for support groups at your local hospital, hospice, or church and be sure to ask about the background of the facilitator.