"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die."
Because we understand the unsettled nature, and often the devastating impact, created whenever the death of a loved-one occurs, Arlington provides ongoing bereavement services to help and assist survivors through what is inevitably a transitional period of life.
We know that most people are unprepared for what follows the death of a beloved: the onslaught of a wide set of emotions. We also understand that the process we know as grief is never the same for any two people. However, there are some commonly recognized strategies that may serve to mitigate the pain.
Survivors must grieve in their own way. No one can tell another, or define for another, the way to grieve. There is no normal time span for healing to take place; you begin to heal when you begin to heal, not on some pre-fabricated schedule. Survivors also need to accept their emotions - and there are many. Initially, shock is the prevalent emotion but it is followed by other emotions such as: denial; panic; resentment; guilt; depression; and, physical distress. Depending upon the survivor, any, all, or none (rarely) of these may be a part of the grieving process.
In order to manage your grief more wisely, there are some actions, or activities, that you can engage in to help yourself. However, the operative word is engage.
Express Your Feelings
- You need to express your feelings. Therapists and clinicians advise that denying emotions only serves to prolong the agony of the loss and stifle the grieving process. Another grief management tool is the willingness to allow others to share in the grief process. You may share with adult family members or friends, or even children. Sometimes, we try to hide our pain from others, particularly children. When you choose that path, you only intensify your feelings of loneliness and, sometimes, in the case of children, you perhaps stifle their ability to accept the new reality brought about by the death.
Share The Grief Process
- If possible, all family members should participate in planning funeral arrangements. The presence of a casket at the funeral service, a final resting place and permanent memorialization of the beloved helps to make the experience more real. The public funeral gives the community an opportunity to offer strength of friendship and support - and to share their grief. In addition, any other activity that helps you share your feelings is a step in the right direction.
- Sometimes, you may resist seeking help from professionals because of the stigma attached in doing so. You may think that seeking outside help is only for the weak or the "insane." But, to the contrary, seeking help from the outside is a sign of a certain strength of character - the strength to admit and understand that there are times in life when we must turn to others for help. Turning to Help or Self-Help Groups when grieving certainly falls under the heading of "sane."
Here at Arlington - We can only encourage you to express your feelings; doing so is largely up to the individual. However, we can help in sharing the grief (Remembrance Services) and with self-help groups (Bereavement Programs).