Coping with Loss

GriefWork: Healing from Loss

GriefWork: Healing from Loss

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The Healing Pathway

The journey from Loss to New Normal is a long, winding, and complicated one. There are markers along the way to help you better understand the characteristics of the phases of the grieving process.

Keep in mind these symptoms are NOT checklists. These are some of the symptoms that some people feel some of the time. Every person's experience of grief is different and each has different feelings and reactions. Remember, the Healing Pathway is not a one-way or one-lane path. There is potential for a great deal of movement among the phases as we move towards a New Normal, which is constantly changing.


Some symptoms of SHOCK:

  • Disbelief
  • Euphoria
  • Numbness
  • Searching
  • Suicidal thoughts


Some symptoms of DISORGANIZATION:

  • Aimlessness
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Avoidance
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Forgetfulness
  • Guilt
  • Hopelessness
  • Isolation
  • Loneliness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Loss of Faith
  • Loss of Interest
  • Loss of Meaning
  • Nightmares
  • Physical Distress
  • Preoccupation
  • Relief
  • Restlessness
  • Sadness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Slowed Reaction Time
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Yearning


Some symptoms of REORGANIZATION:

  • Changed Values
  • Control Over Remembering
  • Emergence of Balanced Memories
  • New Choices
  • New Meaning In Life
  • New Priorities
  • Pleasure in Remembering
  • Return to Previous Levels of Functioning

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Getting In Touch With Our Feelings

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Activity: The Guilt

We all experience losses in our life, and it is common to have feelings of guilt. It is important to recognize our guilt, honor it and learn to let it go, or manage it.

Finish the sentence-starters below that apply to you and this loss:

I'm sorry I _____________________________________________________________________________

I knew ________________________________________________________________________________

We didn't talk about ___________________________________________________________________

I wish _________________________________________________________________________________

I never should have ___________________________________________________________________

If only I _______________________________________________________________________________

How could I have _____________________________________________________________________

Why didn't ____________________________________________________________________________

I am angry ____________________________________________________________________________

I did not honor the request that _________________________________________________________

I still get upset about __________________________________________________________________

When I think back I ____________________________________________________________________

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What To Do With My Memories?

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Telling Your Story

Find a memento that makes you remember your person. This could be: an article of clothing, a book, a hobby, a gift, a piece of jewelry, a letter, a photo, a poem, some kind of knick-knack...whatever makes you think of that person.

Now, tell someone about your loved one. Describe the relationship you had with them. Think about and share what attributes that you treasured most about them.

If you can not find someone to share this with, call your counselor! We would love to hear your story.

The Importance of Self-Care

The Importance of Relationships

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The New Normal

Life may look a little different now. Reorganizing one's life without the physical presence of the one you loved is difficult. This New Normal, like life itself, is filled with ups and downs; highs and lows; joys and sorrows.

New Normal, is not a place on the map, and it is not static- it is constantly evolving. Your personal growth experienced while journeying is a predictor of how dynamic the New Normal is- and what it will become.

It is our hope, that you will develop a sense of yourself as you are constantly learning, growing, and loving, in your New Normal.

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Fran Zamore & Ester R.A. Leutenberg

GriefWork: Healing from Loss

Whole Person Publishing

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