You collected life insurance, sat through a memorial service, and nodded numbly as everyone around you expressed their deepest sympathies. You are even considering filing a wrongful death action to hold a company accountable for your loved one’s death, so you’re doing everything you can to be responsible and keep your family together when they need you most.
While you may be handling the business aspects of a death, it is just as important to grieve—and many people are unwilling to acknowledge just how deeply they have been affected by a loss.
How Can a Grief Counselor Help Me?
Relatives can find many unexpected benefits to speaking with experienced grief counselors. These therapists help survivors experience grief in healthy and conscious ways, including:
- Making time for grief. People are often overwhelmed with sadness and anger in the weeks after a loved one dies, and cannot control when their negative emotions will strike. By making regular appointments with a grief counselor, family members are making time to deal with their grief rather than simply shoving it aside, lessening the chances of the negative feelings taking over their lives.
- Processing your emotions. Everyone grieves differently, and there is no “right way” to feel after a death in the family. While many people are depressed, some experience denial, euphoria, anger, and some even feel numb or apathetic. A grief counselor can discuss what you are feeling without judgment, and help you deal with each new emotion as it arises. Your counselor may also recommend keeping a journal to record your feelings and what triggered them, helping you to be better prepared against the next wave of grief.
- Finding stress relief. Grief can take a serious physical toll on a person, especially if he or she is having trouble sleeping or is reluctant to go outdoors. Your health may be the last thing on your mind, but engaging in physical activities can go a long way to calm your mind and your body, and can help you find proper rest at night. Try taking a short walk, attend a yoga class, or even doing some simple stretches. If you don’t want to be alone, ask a friend to go to the gym with you, or do a few circuits in a nearby park or mall.
- Adjusting to the future. You may not know what to expect in the coming months, but grief counselors have firsthand experience with the psychological and emotional road ahead. While you are processing your feelings, a grief counselor can also help you develop strategies to live in a world without your loved one. You can discuss your fears with your counselor (such as clearing out your relative’s belongings, coping with finances, or living alone) and find a solution that alleviates the stress of the unknown.
- Reviving enjoyment of life. Many people stop engaging in their favorite activities, such as going to the movies, reading, or playing an instrument, because they feel guilty for having fun after a loved one has died. Your regular hobbies will not only keep your hands and mind busy, they can also be a great source of comfort in times of grief. If a certain activity (such as gardening) reminds you too much of your loved one, focus on other hobbies until you can return to it with positive emotions (such as planting a memorial garden in your relative’s honor).
If you are struggling under the stress of your grief, you should consider making an appointment with a grief counselor as soon as possible. The attorneys at Wayne Wright would be proud to take over the investigation of your case while you take the time you need to heal. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any help to you.