Observed annually on August 30, National Grief Awareness Day is dedicated to raising awareness about how to cope with the loss of someone or something significant in your life or provide support for a loved one who has recently experienced an important loss. And loss is not relegated to a person or pet, but also things like the loss of a job or breaking up with your partner or even moving to a new town – any big change, no matter how positive, involves loss. All of these losses take their toll and it’s important to grieve them. The importance of this cannot be overstated as ‘grief avoidance’ can end up causing more inner strife.
If you’re in the throes of some sort of loss and feel you need support to grieve, you’re not alone. A great way to find support is to research online grief groups in your community. You can also call your local church, synagogue or mosque and inquire whether they have grief support groups since many religious organizations do offer this kind of service. If they don’t, they often can refer you to a place or person who does. Most Veterans’ groups will provide this information as well, and often include on-site grief counseling.
Some people think that there is a time limit to grieving. That’s not true. There is no timeline for grieving, and everyone grieves differently. Avoid comparing your grief to others, as no two people will grieve the same way, even if it is the same person that you lost. Being kind to yourself and acknowledging that you are doing the best you can are two of the best ways to support yourself during this difficult time.
If you live in Indian River County, you can join a bereavement group free of charge offered through VNA. In addition, if your loved one is receiving hospice care with VNA, you and your family will receive full bereavement services, including a grief counselor, before and after your loved one has passed on. If you would like to learn more about the kind of bereavement services VNA offers, please call 772.567.5551, ext. 5171.