We all know that life is finite, but we try to not think about this fact as much as we can. However, when a loved one needs to be placed in the hands of professionals for end-of-life care, it is no longer possible to ignore that reality. The grief process often begins before death occurs, and it is a feeling that a vast majority of people will feel at some point. Even when a parent or a grandparent passes away, experiencing the natural order of life can be extremely confusing and overwhelming. While everybody experiences it differently, you are certainly not alone in your struggle. Here are some tips to help navigate through your grief from our Los Angeles hospice care center:
Do not ignore your feelings
You do not have to pretend to be okay with the circumstances. Expressing sadness for your loved one who is no longer with you is a sign of human empathy. Although nobody likes to feel emotional pain, it might be quite odd if you were indifferent to losing a family member you were close to.
Remember that the Five Stages of Grief are not black-and-white
These stages within the model manifest differently in each person based on the magnitude of the loss as well as the individual connection you had with the deceased. No two relationships are exactly the same. You may find yourself going back and forth through these stages or even not going through one of the stages at all. There is nothing wrong with this.
Keep other loved ones in touch
Keep a circle of other surviving family members as well as close friends around. When we are deeply sad or upset, we may feel the urge to isolate ourselves. If you need some alone time every once in a while, this is completely normal, but remember to keep people you are close to in contact and do not be afraid to express your feelings with them. Talking to other grieving family members about the person you have both lost can be beneficial so that you will not feel like you have to go through your struggle alone.
Seek professional help
If you find that your grief is interfering with your ability to function in your daily life, such as concentrating at work or school or basic needs like eating or bathing, it is time to seek help. Even if you are very early on in your grief, there is no shame in feeling that you cannot wait to see a counselor. Seek a licensed therapist or psychologist whose practice specializes in grief counseling. You may also consider joining a support group for those who have gone through significant loss either in-person or online. Some of these groups are led by mental health professionals while others are solely peer-to-peer.
Faith and Hope is here for you
At Faith and Hope, we offer free grief counseling for survivors up to 1 year after the death has occured. Contrary to popular belief, it is not abnormal to still be mourning even after the first anniversary has passed. We also hold memorials every November for our patients who have passed during the year. If you currently have an elderly family member who is in need of Los Angeles hospice care, please give us a call at (877) 797-1977 or email us at [email protected]