Coping with the loss of a loved one

Dealing with the loss of a loved one, whether it’s sudden or after a long illness, may be one of the most difficult experiences we face. Loss is a natural part of life, and grieving is an important process that can help overcome the sadness and shock of death. It can also help you embrace the memories of your loved one and celebrate his or her life.

stk63814corThe American Psychological Association shares a few strategies for coping with the loss of a loved one.

  • Talk about the death of your loved one with others. This can help you understand what happened and remember your loved one.
  • Accept your feelings. People may experience anger, sadness and even exhaustion after learning about a loved one’s death. These feelings are normal.
  • Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Remember to eat well, exercise and rest so you can move forward.
  • Help others dealing with the loss. Sharing stories about your loved one or just talking with another person can make you feel better as well.
  • Celebrate the life of your loved one. Donate to her favorite charity, frame photos of fun times together or plant a garden in her memory. Honor your relationship in a way that feels right to you.
  • Talk with a mental health professional if you feel “stuck” or overwhelmed by emotions. Counseling may help you understand and accept your feelings, and move forward.

At Durham Regional, Pastoral Care Services holds a Service of Remembrance each year that brings together families, hospital staff and the community to pay tribute to the memory of loved ones who were cared for at Durham Regional.

“As caregivers and members of the community, we want to provide support after the loss of a loved one,” says Rev. Lisa Brown Cole, director of Pastoral Care Services. “Our Service of Remembrance is a special way for a patient’s family, our staff and the community to grieve and heal after a loss.”

This year’s service will be held 6-7 pm Thursday, May 16 in the hospital auditorium.

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