Woman crying, being consoled

Surviving grief

The death of someone you love is one of life’s most difficult experiences. At times, the loss can be particularly challenging to cope with. There is no roadmap for the grieving process. It is different for everyone, and your journey is a unique one.

Coming to terms with grief

Getting there is a challenge, but many find empowerment and strength in coming to terms with their grief.

“Finding the meaning or purpose in death really depends on where you are in the grief process,” says Julie Leet, a licensed clinical social worker and bereavement counselor with Community Home Health

Grief can’t be avoided. It’s important for you to face your loss and process through it. If you don’t face the pain of your loss, you risk shutting down, withdrawing from friends and family and isolation. 

Coming to terms with change

When a loved one dies your entire perspective on life can change. You might question how you used to live, what you believed in and your priorities in life. As you process through your grief you’ll realize that you’ve become a different person now, and you’ll need to develop a new self-identity.

“You’ll likely have some different priorities and make different choices,” explains Leet. “All of this gives you the opportunity to find the meaning or purpose in your loss.”

The death of a loved one might change your perspective in the following ways:

  • Focus on what’s truly important in life and forget the little things.
  • Rearrange your priorities to simplify your life so you can spend more time with loved ones.
  • Nurture old friendships and develop new relationships, so you do not feel isolated and alone.
  • Share your story of loss with others so that you continue the healing process.
  • Reach out to others to help them understand the lessons in their loss. 

Leet hopes this final piece of advice stays top of mind for anyone experiencing a loss:

“Please be gentle with yourself; remember to allow the grieving process to occur naturally. Everyone experiences grief differently, and each experience is as unique as each individual.”

Finding the support you need

Community hosts a variety of free events and classes focused on remembrance and healing throughout the year. To attend a program or join a support group, find one here or call 800-404-4852.