The losses we experience in life compound over time. This is true of all loss, though losses through death generally have the most profound effect. Because loss compounds over time, those with numerous or traumatic losses in their background may find it extremely difficult to move forward after the death of a loved one. Knowing details about past loss is important in order to be effective in helping individuals and families work through their emotions after death.
Many years ago, my husband provided me with insight into how compounded grief works. His mother died while he was in college. At age 42, she suffered a cerebral aneurysm and was gone. The family experienced a great deal of shock and trauma, and each of the three children floundered for a time. Without their gravitational center, the family members all pulled apart from one another to deal with their grief individually.
Nearly 30 years later, when our beloved family dog succumbed to cancer, I was surprised to hear my husband quietly said, “My mom would have really loved that dog.” His sudden reference to his mother seemed out of place until I realized that he was addressing the connective tissue which was the universality of loss and sadness. Even though the recent loss was of an animal, it brought back his experience of losing his mother.
As we work with patients and their families, we can be aware that all losses, whether they come in the form of death, divorce, financial reversals, or other types of loss, all can impact how survivors will grieve. The more we understand, the better we are able to empathize and bring help.
Family bereavement is a term to describe the death or loss of a loved one in the family.
Losing a loved one most probably is the most unpleasant and worst loss one will ever experience. The loss will surely take an emotional toll on the bereaved family. Thus, to have a time or period to grieve and mourn over the loss is essential.
Although the process of grief over a significant loss can vary dramatically from one person to another, it is still a family matter. The family faces a lot of tasks during this period and finding a way to grieve together is one. Hoping to find comfort, consolation, and support from each other.
The holidays can add weight to an already heavy grief load. Heart ‘n Home offers Grief & Loss Support Groups which can help teach ways to cope with grief. Visit our event page to find an upcoming group or contact us today for more information.
Rev. Dr. Melody Metcalf, Spiritual and Grief Counselor & Anita Bergquist, Caldwell Volunteer Coordinator