In the summertime it is typically the time to enjoy the outdoors and have fun with family and friends. Unfortunately, life may have thrown you a curve and a loved one has recently died. Everyone else seems to be happy and out enjoying activities while you are grieving your loved one.
For those who are grieving some helpful things to remember include not worrying about your life being "normal." Your life has changed with the death of your loved one and you need to give yourself time to gain your life balance again. As you work through your grief journey you will start to find the new normal in your life. Accept support; people in your life want to do things to help during this time. Allow them to do so. Perhaps you are the person who has always done everything for others. When you are grieving allow others to help you. You may be experiencing loneliness due to your loss. Even though there are many people at a gathering to console you, you may still feel very alone in a group activity. Perhaps you are experiencing a lack of desire. Nothing really seems to matter. Things that once felt very important no longer feel that way when you are grieving.
A grieving person may feel confused and be wandering around in a fog. It is a time to let others help you when your mind is temporarily shut down. Remember to take care of yourself. Do not add additional expectations in your life. Be kind to yourself. Get adequate sleep and eat healthy. Only attend events and activities that feel right to you.
Each person's grief journey is unique unto themselves. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions may arise. You may be experiencing painful emotions such as feelings of sadness, anger and guilt. Know that it's important to be able to talk with a trusted friend or a professional counselor about your feelings. By doing so you will be able to work through you grief.
Just as grief knows no season there is no time line for how long grief takes. Often well meaning family, friends or co-workers will want us to "be over" our grief. In reality we do not get over grief, we get through it. The good news is that most of us are able to get though our grief and experience joy and happiness again. There will continue to be a few bumps in the road, where you may still experience periods of very strong emotions. Again let those emotions and tears come as it is all a part of the grieving process. Join us at the monthly Bereavement Lunches which are sponsored by Aspirus Keweenaw Home Health and Hospice. We meet the second Tuesday of the month at noon alternating between the Kangas Caf in Hancock and The Hut Inn in Calumet. Anyone in the community who has suffered the loss of a loved one is welcome.
For more information call 337-5700.
Editor's Note: Sarah Baratono is the Family Care and Bereavement Coordinator at Aspirus Keweenaw Home Health and Hospice.