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Understanding Grief & Loss Emily Allaire, LMSW Grief Counselor P| 319-272-2002

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Grief & Loss Emily Allaire, LMSW Grief Counselor P| 319-272-2002"— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Grief & Loss Emily Allaire, LMSW Grief Counselor P|

2 Our personal experiences shape our understanding What do I know about grief? What have my own experiences with grief been? What have I learned?

3 Grief vs Mourning Grief: Internal thoughts and feelings Mourning: Outward expression of grief

4 Worden’s Tasks of Mourning 1) Accept the reality of the loss 2) Process the pain and grief 3) Adjust to life without the deceased 4) Maintain a connection to deceased while exploring a new life

5 Symptoms of grief Physical – Sleep disturbance – Shortness of breath – Tightness in throat – Physical distress – Weight change Emotional – Sadness – Anger – Guilt – Anxiety – Loneliness Behavioral – Forgetfulness – Searching for deceased – Wandering aimlessly – Worrying more about others, wanting to make them feel comfortable – Needing to retell the story of the loved one’s death – “Suicidal” talk

6 Disenfranchised grief “Unspeakable” deaths Suicide/Homicide Sudden Pet loss AIDS

7 Traumatic deaths Grief is different Painful Struggle to help Struggle to understand

8 Calendar dates Holidays Birthdays Anniversaries Date of death Tuesday

9 Healing vs Curing Grief is ongoing Processing Nothing to “get over” Must move through Avoiding prolongs the process

10 What NOT to say I understand I know You will survive He/She is better off Why are you still sad? It’s been a year At least you have another child How can I help? What do you need? You need counseling Get over it Have you started dating? At least you’re young This will pass Everything happens for a reason

11 How to be supportive SAY I care Tell me about him/her What’s your favorite memory? You are in my thoughts Want to do lunch? It’s ok to cry How are you doing today/right now? DO Listen Practice patience Acknowledge dates Acknowledge deceased Bring over a meal Share memories Accept “no” for an answer


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