Coping with your emotions following the loss of a loved one can be extremely overwhelming. Grief is a feeling that is completely normal, but oftentimes is difficult to understand and hard to deal with. Connecting with others and sharing common experiences and emotions can help you make sense of what you are feeling. Grief is a complicated emotion, knowing more about it can make all the difference as you go through the grief process.
Gilda’s Club Westchester offers a monthly drop-in program: “Grief in Common” for those who have lost a loved one to cancer. On the first Thursday of every month, members will join in a safe space to connect and engage with one another. This will allow time for open conversation, as well as discussion of topics related to grief, loss, and next steps.
Here are four things you need to know to help you cope with grief:
- There are specific stages of grief: The stages of grief include denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Not everyone follows these steps, and they may not be followed in the same exact order. Just because someone is not grieving the same way that you are does not mean they are not grieving.
- Stages of grief can be re-experienced: Everyone grieves at their own pace. It is possible that even after a stage seems to have passed, it can be revisited.
- Grieving does not end when acceptance begins: Sadness or feelings of anger may emerge, even months later. You can still move forward even while dealing with grief; this does not mean the emptiness will completely disappear.
- Seeking professional help can be a big help: You will benefit by speaking with a professional who understands the process of grieving and is someone to go to and share your feelings.
For more information on programs at Gilda’s Club Westchester for those living with loss or to sign up for a support group or activity, please call 914.644.8844.