There is no time table for grief. Your feelings may vary over time and may intensify during holidays, anniversaries or other special times.
How do I know if I need help?
Having someone to listen and walk beside you on your grief journey is helpful. If you find that friends and family are not able to consistently offer the support you need, a counselor can be a compassionate support. If you are not taking care of your basic needs (difficulty sleeping and eating) or if you have difficulty expressing and managing feelings, an objective third party such as a counselor can help.
I cannot concentrate or remember anything. Am I going crazy?
People often report problems with short term memory, difficulty learning new tasks, and losing things. The feeling of losing control or “feeling crazy” is a normal part of the grieving process.
My family member hasn't cried. Doesn't she care about him?
Everyone grieves differently. Some people cry inwardly or want to cry but cannot. There is often a period, especially early in the grieving process where people feel numb.
How do I help someone who is grieving?
Sometimes the most compassionate thing to do is to allow people to tell the story of the death, and to refrain from giving advice. You might also help them to run errands, volunteer to care for the children, etc. Avoid saying things such as “they’re in a better place” or “time heals.”
I don't usually liek to share my feelings with others. What is a support group like?
Sharing with others is an important part of healing. A support group is comprised of people going through similar experiences. It is a safe place to share feelings and experiences of your grief journey. A good group will emphasize confidentiality so that members will feel comfortable sharing in the group, knowing that everything said in the group will remain in the group. It is an opportunity to learn how others are experiencing and coping with their death-related loss. Most people are a little shy at first but usually find that they want to talk more as they get to know other members. There are some groups that are designed to help people express their grief non-verbally such as through art or journaling.
How do I help my child through a loss?
One of the most important things you can do is to be open and honest with your child. Answer questions as they ask them, but keep your responses simple and age appropriate. Some other suggestions include encouraging a child or teen to write in a journal, maintaining family routines, and asking for books or resources to help you understand grieving behaviors.
Can people grieve before someone actually dies?
Yes. This is called anticipatory grief and is common when there is an expected death. Anticipatory grief is characterized by feelings of guilt, anger, anxiety, fear, or sadness as people think about a future without their loved one. Talking about those feelings is the best way of working through them.
Can anyone take advantage of the services at the Grief Counseling Center? How much does it cost?
Yes, anyone can receive counseling from Hospice of the Piedmont’s Grief Counseling Center whether their loved one was a Hospice patient or not. This community service is offered at no charge.