A Space For Grief
The death of someone we care about can be one of the most difficult experiences of life. Words seem inadequate to describe how painful the grief we feel can be. It is often much more challenging than we expect and than others seem to think. GOOD GRIEF COMMUNITY meets weekly in Grande Prairie if you’d like to have coffee with others who have walked the path of grief.
These articles will help you understand something about the grief and how we can help ourselves and others through the difficult process.
These articles were written by Dr Bill Webster, our Director of Grief Education, and are part of a comprehensive library available on our Grief Journey web portal. Dr Bill is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for the Grief Journey. He earned his doctorate at the University of Toronto in 1990, and has been awarded the prestigious Fellow in Thanatology by the Association of Death Education and Counselling (ADEC).
Dr Bill`s knowledge of grief is not just in theory, but from a very difficult personal experience. In 1983, Bill`s young wife died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving him not only to cope with his loss, but also to raise his 2 sons, who were only 9 and 7 when their mother died. Dr Bill has become a recognised author, a renowned international speaker and seminar leader, and brings 30 years of experience in the field of grief support and counselling.
One reason that we often find grief such a difficult challenge is that we have never learned what to expect. The following facts will help you understand some crucial truths about grief and grieving and how we can work through the process to find healing. 1....
How are we to understand bereavement? Over the years, there have been numerous attempts to explain it. Perhaps the most influential and well-known theory has been that of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying” focused on an emotional...
Children and Grief
Children do not stop grieving until they have gone through ALL their developmental levels. At each stage, there is new learning about the old experience. The child may grieve until they become young adults, because it is not until we are sure that we can survive the experience that we are able to integrate the fact of our loss into our changing lives.
It is important to note that children have many questions about death, and these are usually different than the ones that occur to adults. Children’s questions deserve simple, straight forward answers.
Coping with Loss
For those who have never had a companion animal, pet loss is often hard to understand. “After all,” many say, “it was just a cat … or a dog, bunny rabbit, hamster, budgie or any one of many possibilities.” Pet loss is often overlooked by society, so when an animal dies, owners grieve alone because they are afraid that they will be ridiculed, or thought to be crazy or stupid, because, after all it is “only a pet”.
A 50/50 chance, to any gambler, is a pretty good bet. But did you ever stop to think that if you are in a significant relationship, there is a 50/50 chance that you will eventually grieve the loss of your partner.
Helping Those Who Grieve
Here are eight practical suggestions as to how we can help in a positive and constructive way people who have a loss and support them in their time of need.
When you are grieving, there is no question that some days are more difficult than others. Many people don’t realize that grief comes and goes.
Coping with Complicated Situations
It became obvious in January that Ken was losing his four year battle with cancer. Connie, his wife of over thirty years, took her vacation month from work, and then an additional five week leave of absence to be with him every agonizing day in the hospital. On March 17th, Ken died.
It is not my intention to outline the many and varied theories of suicidal behavior, many of which are conflicting. The focus here is on how we help support suicide survivors through their unique process.