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Bullet Points about Grief in 2024!

Bullet Points about Grief in 2024!

   Grief is an experience all persons will face.  Whether you have experienced it or not, eventually, you will have friends and family members who encounter loss.  That is when you are in the role of a supporter.  The following ten bullet points offer insight and assistance for those experiencing grief and for those who find themselves in the role of grief support.
   Grief is overwhelming!   This applies to the bereaved person as much as to the support person. Keep this in mind and do not over-expect – neither from yourself, nor from your surroundings – to know the right things to do and say in every moment.
   Find the support that is right for you!  Whether this is grief counseling, a support group, Christian support, or talking to a friend, make sure whatever you chose is suitable to you. Be willing to change if the first thing you try does not work or stops working after a while.
   Knowing and sharing what you need!  I have not yet met someone with a certificate in mind reading.  Even people with good intuition will not always know exactly what it is you need.  First, find out what it is you need.  Second, communicate your needs.  Third, find those who are willing and able to support you – in line with those needs.
   Apply mindfulness to your expectations in relationship!   It is normal to expect that your closest person, whether it is a family member, partner or children would be best at understanding where you are.  Sorry to say but the grieving experience is challenging to understand and make sense of – even for the closest person: yourself.
   Grief brings strangeness!  Grief changes us as we become acquainted with a new post-loss self.  Therefore, move slowly with friends and family. Grief can make us a stranger to ourselves and equally to our surroundings.  So, let us first adjust to this new strangeness before making major decisions.
   Be true to yourself!  Grieving throws you into a tailspin where you are tempted to beat yourself up because of guilt or you fall into the pit of self-pity!  So please take care and be gentle, and take the time to be true to yourself, to be selfish – in an effective way– to look after yourself with kindness and self respect that you deserve.  Do not overwhelm yourself with social outings if you do not feel up to it.  If, however, you feel it would be good for you, go for it.  We learn by experience!
   Do not let others tell you how to feel!   This goes hand-in-hand with being true to yourself: There are no set guidelines about what, when, or why in processing grief. Whether you consciously or unconsciously avoid it or go into the experience with full force, it is what it is for you.  Use wisdom here in when and to whom you share your hurting heart.
   Ask a professional!    Your friends and family members will only be able to give you an opinion.  They want you to feel better and get over it. If you need advice, ask someone outside of your inner circle and get a professional opinion.
   Think long-term!   Against popular belief, grief is not easy and it doesn’t have a time limit to be completed.   Someone may say after one year (or any other amount of time), “You should be over this by now. “  May I share with you, “If you are dealing with your grief, it may take a long time and you may have to re-visit those emotions again and again when triggered.  This is normal, and nothing is wrong with you!
   Feeling crazy is normal!  The post-loss experience is a crazy ride.  Lacking concentration, forgetting things, being emotional, and lacking stamina is normal. People might think you are going crazy. This is a temporary state, which is normal while processing grief.
   Remember that your friends and family might not be able to support you the way you need it.  Find the support that you need and do not expect your inner circle to fill a role they do not fit.  It does not mean you have to burn those bridges, unless you choose to do so.
John T. Catrett, III
Scissortail Hospice Chaplain
306 North Main Street, Suite E
Bristow, OK 74010
918.352.3080

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