living and coping with grief and loss

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  • Living and Coping with Grief

    and Loss

    Margaret S Clarke LPC,BC-DMT, ACT

    Behavioral Health and Cognitive

    Therapy Center

    Mandi Zucker, MSW

    Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss

  • What Is Grief ?

    Grief is a natural and normal reaction to


    Grief is the emotional response to loss.

    We need to go through grief in order to


  • Language of Grief

    Bereavement is the specific situation of

    a person who has suffered the loss

    Mourning is the social and behavioral

    expression of the grief

  • Grief can follow many

    types of loss

    Death of someone we love

    Miscarriage / elective abortion

    Learning you or someone you care

    about has a chronic and serious illness

    Becoming disabled

  • Death of a pet

    Loss of a home

    Loss of a career, employment


    Loss of relationships due to familial


    Grief can follow many

    types of loss (cont)

  • Grief brings on a

    wide range of emotions





  • The task of grief is healing

    To find healthy ways to deal with our


    Remember that everyone grieves in

    their own way

  • How We Grieve

    Depends on a variety of factors

    Circumstances of the loss


    Age and life experiences

    Culture and Faith

  • Choice of Rituals

    How one honors someone who has died

    How to manage the dying process

    How to care for the body

    How to care for those who are left


  • Types of grief

    Traumatic Loss

    Complicated grief

    Prolonged grief

  • Traumatic Loss

    When death is sudden or violent

    Loss of a child


    Accidental overdose

    Accidental death or dismemberment

  • Element of Fear

    No one ever told me that grief felt so like

    fear. Not afraid, but the sensation is like

    being afraid. Same fluttering in the

    stomach. Same restlessness, the

    yawning. I would keep on swallowing.CS Lewis A Grief Observed

  • Thoughts & Feelings

    Self blame

    Thoughts that others blame you

    especially in the case of a suicide or

    accidental death

    Imagining vivid picture images of your

    loved ones last moments

  • In case of homicide or accident wanting

    wishing the perpetrator to suffer to be


    Ruminating thoughts or questions why

    did the death happen


    Thoughts & Feelings

  • Bitterness

    Anger at law enforcement, the courts,

    the media and how they handle the


    Thoughts & Feelings

  • Survivors Guilt

    What could have been done differently

    Actions taken or not taken at the time of

    the death

    Thoughts of ones own death

  • Complicated Grief

    Mental health issues /diagnosis

    Major depression

    Post traumatic stress disorder

    Panic disorder

    Generalized anxiety

    Substance abuse / dependence

  • Prolonged Grief

    Difficulty adjusting to the loss

    Confusion about ones role in life

    Feeling or thinking you have lost a part

    of yourself

    Avoiding reminders of the loss

    Inability/struggle to trust others

  • Difficulty moving on

    Numbness, absence of emotions

    Feeling or thinking life is unfulfilling

    Feeling stunned, dazed, shocked

    Separation Anxiety

    Prolonged Grief

  • The Journey of Healing

    Let yourself grieve

    Practice Self Compassion

    Allow any thoughts and feelings to

    come forth

    Try to express your thoughts and


  • There are 2 wings of mindfulness. One

    wing is to pause and name whats going on and

    the second wing is to be non judgmental and

    present to whatever you have named.

    The first wing is to be aware and the

    second is to meet what you are aware of, what

    you have named with heartfulness, tenderness

    and compassion.

    Tara Brach

  • Reach out to people you trust

    Look for people who accept your

    feelings and thoughts

    Try simply telling people what you need

    Acknowledging your reactions and

    giving them expression is important to

    the healing process

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy





  • Rituals can help

    Think about your loved ones wishes

    Take an active part in planning the

    funeral or other ceremonies

    Help accept the death the loss

  • We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of

    mourning will subside, we also know that we

    shall remain inconsolable and will never find a

    substitute. No matter what may fill the gap even

    if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains

    something else.

    E. L Freund

  • Helps to remember memories about

    your loss is an important part of healing

    Can bring mourners together

    Can bring peace and a sense of order


  • The present moment is filled with joy and

    happiness. If you are attentive you will

    see it.

    Thich Nhat Hanh

  • Resources

    Bearing the unbearable Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path

    of Grief Joanne Cacciatore , PhD

    Living life after losing a child beyond tears Ellen Mitchell

    Loving Someone Who Has Dementia Pauline Boss, PHD

    Widow to Widow thoughtful Practical ideas to rebuilding your life

    Genevieve Davis Ginsburg M.S.

  • Additional Resources

    Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions Kate

    Lorig, Dr.PH Halsted Holman MD et al

    In this moment Five steps to transcending stress

    using mindfulness and Neuroscience Kirk D.

    Strosahl, PHD Patricia J. Robinson ,PHD

    A Delicate Balance Living Successfully with a

    Chronic Illness Susan Milstrey Wells

  • Other steps on the journey

    Put any regrets in perspective

    Try to put off major decisions

    Keep memories alive

  • Think about continuing a project your

    loved one started

    Look to your faith

    Consider attending a support group

    Think about helping others

    Other steps on the journey

  • Allow yourself to move on

  • Grief never ends, but it changes.

    Its a passage, not a place to stay.

    Grief is not a sign of weakness,

    nor a lack of faith.

    It is the price of love.

    Author unknown

  • Questions


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