Grief of DeathFor those experiencing grief of a loss from death
Grief is an ongoing process of adjusting to loss and everyone grieves in their own way.
Some grieve through “doing . This can be through making a garden, building something in memory of a loved one, starting a foundation, creating a ritual, just to name a few. Others are able to express their loss through emotions and gain insight into their grief experience by journaling, drawing, or through the expressive arts. Most have a combination of the two.
Grief is the internal reaction to loss and mourning is that grief expressed. It is important to “facilitate’ what is being experienced internally to give it meaning externally in order for adjustment to the loss be achieved in a healthy manner.Kathy Cherven
for Adults, Adolescents, and Children
for up to 8 family members
Grieving the death of a child
4+ week loss-specific groups
Often referred to as a “disenfranchised Grief”meaning the loss is not supported or validated. Well- meaning family and friends give unsolicited advice such as “you can always have another baby” or “it’s God’s will” and “it just wasn’t meant to be” leaving mom to feel isolated and alone in her grief.
There is much to grieve with a miscarriage. The loss of hopes and dreams for “that” child, the affect it has on mom’s self-esteem and identity, and the anxiety of experiencing another miscarriage with future pregnancies.
Grief counseling provides that safe environment to explore the grief of the miscarriage, the uncertainty of future pregnancies, and adjustment to the changes.
Also considered a disenfranchised grief for many of the reasons stated above but the shock doesn’t set in until almost towards the end of the pregnancy. The parents see a fully formed baby in many cases and now try to visualize what their child would look like throughout life. There is also usually a service and/ or burial /cremation.
There are similar cliché’s as for miscarriage and although the parents may be supported for awhile, the concern soon diminishes assuming parents are “over it”.
It is important for this grief to be validated and explored also to help parents and especially mom adjust to her experience.
Many times it just takes an accepting environment to help the parent grieving to make meaning in life again through empowering her to think of ways to keep her baby’s memory alive.
Whether a child dies at a young age or as an adult, the parents’ grief is deep. To lose a child disrupts the perceived natural order of life: grandparents; parents, adults, children. Unfortunately, life doesn’t go in that order and the death of a child disrupts the rhythm of the family dynamics as the grief affect not just the parents but siblings, grandparents, extended family and friends.
Everyone has their unique grief print and the different style of grieving can cause conflict within the family.
It is important to note that the death of a child can lead to the parents’ divorcing. If that does occur, the marriage was in trouble prior to the illness or death.
Grief counseling benefits the entire family as grief education, normalization and reassurance of emotions is validated opening communication within the family.
Death of young spouse:
When a young spouse dies unexpectedly either by sudden death of a heart attack or accident, the surviving spouse faces many challenges of assuming the roles of the absent spouse, along with becoming a single parent. When the spouse who died was the main income, the financial losses can be monumental affecting lifestyle.
Death of spouse:
Losing a spouse after being married for many years is sometimes the most difficult to adjust to especially when they had spent a lot of time together after retirement. With the children grown and sometimes living in another state, the surviving spouse struggles with their sense of identity, sense of purpose and meaning in life without their partner. Loneliness is the main struggle as they are in the home that was shared by 2 with memories from a lifetime.