Read these 6 Overcoming grief Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Senior tips and hundreds of other topics.
After the loss of a loved one, whether by death or divorce, we also experience a loss of being needed. You will soon find that you need a pet as much (or more) than they need you. The right pet makes for great companionship. Part of life's great need is to love and be loved. A pet affords both opportunities.
So many times, after the death of a spouse/child/close friend, we need a welcoming ear...someone to talk to about our feelings. Our friends and close neighbors may just be waiting for us to 'open-up' to them. They are never sure if the time is right for us to talk about our loved one(s), so we must broach the subject to them. I found speaking of my husband's death, and how it effected me, to be a healing process. Now I speak only of his life.
Most often, continued grief is caused by loneliness, which is a common occurrence when you lose your spouse.
We've been used to living with and caring for someone, now that part of our life is over. Doesn't need to be: a pet can be a great companion and comfort when living alone. Just be sure you are getting the right pet for yourself. A large dog is not appropriate for apartment living, for you or the dog. If living in your own home, but don't have a fenced yard, you would be better off with a cat rather than a dog. If you have breathing problems, don't consider birds for a pet, they are often considered a cause of this problem.
Many people think they do not need counseling when they lose a spouse or child by death. Counseling can be just talking with family and friends, asking their advice. Yet, when grieving begins to consume our lives, it is time to seek professional counseling; do not put it off. There certainly is no 'shame' to ask for help from those who are trained for this. Grief has a way of developing into depression and major health problems; this can be avoided. Seek help!
If you never had the need for counseling before, you will be surprised at how many places you can find help. You can start with your church/temple to find a referral, but be sure you let them know you want professional help. Check with your City Hall - information section; check with your doctor for referral; check phone book - State Government Offices: Dept of Human Services; and check with the funeral home, they offer this service or can give you referrals. Most of these listed are free, so don't go without counseling. Make that call!
One thing I learned years ago with the death of a friend's husband, is not to continuously overload others with our grief. By that, I mean do not let this subject matter be the only thing we talk about..all the time; if we do, it will consume our own life, and friends may shun us. If you find this happening to you, please get professional counselling. As hard as it may seem at times, life does go on; this is what our family, friends and good neighbors want for us...as well as do our 'lost' ones. Live your life to its fullest. Yet, never hide or be ashamed of your grieving times; this is not expected of you.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|