3 Grief Resources Everyone Needs After Experiencing a Loss
Processing the death of someone we cared about can rock us to our core. It can cause us to face our own mortality, adjust our lives, and even question our fate. In some cases, the loss may even cause a lack of stability in your life, either emotional or financial.
While grief is an individual journey, navigating it isn’t something that should ever be done alone. We all need resources to help us heal from the deaths of those we cared about, and knowing what you need and how to find them is crucial.
In this post, we’re going to discuss three different types of grief resources that everyone needs when mourning and where you can find them.
1. Time with Supportive Friends & Family
For those who have access to friends and family in any capacity (including virtually, right now!), spending time with those we love can be an important part of grief recovery.
Feeling isolated and lonely is common during grief. This is true regardless of the type of loss, but it’s heightened when you lose someone in your immediate circle like a spouse.
The ability to ground yourself in connections with other people who care about you and support you is important. If people are offering to help you, take them up on it. Say yes to the food drop-offs, the help planning the memorial, and the offers to babysit the kids. And if you need help with something that no one has offered, ask; there’s a good chance that people will be more than happy to help.
Even if it’s hard, try to spend time with people in your life regularly.
2. A Counselor You Trust
Saying that facing the death of someone you loved is complicated and painful is the understatement of the year, and it can be exceedingly difficult to do alone.
A licensed counselor can help you process the loss, ensuring that you’re grieving in healthy ways and helping you with any anxiety, depression, or even PTSD that may emerge following the loss.
In many cases, talk therapy (or cognitive behavioral therapy) can be useful for those grieving, even if you don’t think that you need it.
Finding a Therapist
There are also plenty of different types of counselors. Some may specialize in depression or anxiety, for example, while others offer family therapy to help you and your children heal following a loss. If you’re religious, you can also find licensed faith-based counselors who can incorporate your beliefs into the healing process.
Think about what you’d be most comfortable with. Women sometimes feel most comfortable working with female counselors, for example, and people of color may feel more comfortable with a counselor of their own race who can best understand their specific perspective. You may want a psychiatrist (who can prescribe medication), or a faith-based counselor who shares your religion.
Once you know what you’re looking for in a therapist, you can conduct a local search to see what turns up. You can also use a database like the one from Psychology Today to search for a therapist who meets your specific criteria.
If you’re unsure where to start, consider making an appointment with your primary care physician. They can point you in the right direction.
Keep in mind, too, that many people avoid counseling because they worry about the cost. Plenty of therapists take insurance (and you can look up participating providers on your insurance company's site). Those that don’t accept insurance may offer sliding scale pricing for those of different economic classes.
Even a few appointments can help your healing significantly, so it’s worth the investment.
3. Grief Support Groups
Your friends are great. Your family is, too. But if they haven’t experienced a similar loss, they may not fully be able to relate, which can make you feel even more lonely. Even if they can, sometimes talking to other people who aren’t as involved in your day to day leaves can be easier than sharing with people whose opinions you care about.
Grief support groups are an excellent solution for this. They allow you to share everything that you need to without judgment, and you can bond with others who have experienced the same kind of loss. You can meet people at different stages of the healing journey, which can be incredibly valuable.
There are general grief support groups, and those that are highly specialized for types of loss like pet loss, child or grandchild loss, and partner loss. You can see a great list here, or do an online search for local chapters. Keep in mind that some of these groups may have been moved online temporarily due to COVID-19 safety precautions.
If you’re already working with a counselor, you can ask them about good grief support groups in your area.There are also online grief support groups, which can be anonymous or connected to social media accounts. You can see a list of top online grief support communities here.
We know that not all of our readers are religious or spiritual, so if this doesn't apply to you, that's of course completely okay and you're good to skip to the next section!
If you are a spiritual person, however, you may find great comfort in practicing your religion or seeking advice from religious leaders or communities during this time. Your house of faith may even have dedicated grief support resources, guidance, or groups for those experiencing a loss.
Reach out to your spiritual leaders or trusted members in the community, and remember that you can always ask friends and loved ones to join you for services if you're worried about going alone.
Having the right resources to help you cope with grief and to move further along in the healing process can be a lifeline for many people.
Remember, too, that trying to keep up with hobbies (or finding new ones) and activities can be important for healing, too. It can give you something productive to focus on, it can help you meet new people, and it can even help you to create a new, healthy routine. Once you're ready, try out kickboxing, take a painting class, or volunteer at a local animal shelter.
And above all else, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. We all need a helping hand sometimes.
Looking for more resources about how to cope with grief, or how to help someone who is grieving? Check out our other posts here at The Comfort Company.