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Understanding The Grief Journey

Grieving a lost loved one is such a personal process. It has often been said that there is no right or wrong way to deal with death. For some, it’s therapeutic to channel energy into busywork. For others, it could turn to anger. And for many, extended bereavement time is needed for reflection and emotional closure. The important thing, of course, is to acknowledge that this event has happened and not bury difficult emotions.

Forbes recently did a nice job covering the mourning experience in a piece called Grieving Is Complicated. In it, writer Jeanne Croteau outlined common ways people cope with loss and the different methods that can be used to reach acceptance and closure.

“There are many books and articles written about death and, while they may be helpful to some, the reality is that grief is different for everyone,” Croteau writes. “You won’t know how you feel until you go through it and you will quickly realize the the process probably won’t be linear.”

Croteau, herself, openly discussed the recent death of her grandmother and the extreme toll it took on her life. If someone elderly in your life has passed, it can create a wide range of emotions; particularly if you had looked after them at some point. It is not unusual to experience feelings of relief after they go, knowing that the caretaker role has now been relinquished. That can often be accompanied by guilt however, ruminating about more that could have been done.

Croteau experienced those same exact emotions and even underwent fits of rage following the loss of her grandmother.

“After the nurse called to tell me my grandmother was gone, I cried for a little while but that sadness was quickly replaced by something unexpected,” she added. “Over the next few days, I alternated between feeling disbelief and uninhibited rage. The anger had begun in her final weeks but blossomed into a full grown mushroom cloud when she died.”

Croteau’s journey took many twists and turns after that, ultimately leading her to a place of acceptance. Along the way, however, she strongly praised the outside support she received from counselors and trained professionals. She also discussed the benefits of reading, quiet walks and alone time.

Again, mourning is a very individual process; but we believe that Croteau’s words hold true and will always advocate for ongoing support during times of loss.