GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Losing a loved one is hard.
This year due to the large amount of loss added on through the pandemic, Emmanuel Hospice wants the public to know that there are healthy ways to grieve.
"It's kind of acknowledging what you're feeling, knowing that everyone grieves differently and it's okay to, you know, experience joy, but also have some sadness surrounding that," said Jenny Kellogg, Emmanuel Hospice's support services manager. "And just seeking some different ways to remember your loved one, whether that's Lighting a candle, looking through photo albums. You know reminiscing with family and friends, which you can still do virtually."
Here are some tips for if you are struggling with the loss of a loved one, submitted by Emmanuel Hospice Staff;
- Realize we’re all in this together, and that we’re all breaking new ground together. “New normals” are tough to endure, but the alternative is to succumb to hopelessness.
- · Don’t bottle up your feelings. Share them with someone you trust. In doing so, you might learn something about yourself, and in the process develop better ways to maintain and even move forward.
- · Count your blessings. Sure, it’s a cliché, but when you’re deliberate about what you have, it can counter feelings of loss and despair.
- · Manage holiday expectations realistically. Treat yourself to decorations, music and special meals. If possible, invent rituals and traditions to replace or enhance ones diluted or eliminated by COVID
- · Reach out. Extensive studies show that when we focus on the needs of others, our own can seem secondary. Donate, volunteer and seek others in need.
- · Search for meaning and be grateful for small things. The last global pandemic of this scale occurred more than a century ago, so there’s not a lot to refer to as a how-to. Trust your heart as you forge ahead and bring others into your circle.
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