And why it’s important that we call them grief.
"Grief is like an ocean, it comes in waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes, it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn how to swim."- Vicki HarrisonNational Grief Awareness Day takes place every year on August 30th. The purpose of this day is to acknowledge and raise awareness of the various ways individuals cope with loss. This loss is most often associated with the death of a loved one, but it can also be the result of other situations that occur in a person's life. These can include the loss of identity (ex. a person who loses his or her job), loss of safety (ex. members in a community who encountered violence and now feel unsafe), loss of autonomy (ex. a person with a degenerative disease who grieves the loss of physical or cognitive abilities), and loss of dreams or expectations (ex. a person or couple who dream of starting a family but experience infertility).
Each individual grieves their loss for a different amount of time and experiences different symptoms. Experiencing grief from any of the above situations can be emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and/or physically taxing on an individual. Anger, frustration, depression, anxiety, stress, and numbness are just some of the feelings an individual who is grieving may experience. Coping strategies to deal with the pain of losing a loved one (or the pain from any of the other losses mentioned above) varies depending on the individual. Some individuals may cry, while others may lash out at others. Some individuals may turn to alcohol and other drugs to try to rid their pain away. This is not a healthy way to cope with loss because it could lead to addiction.
Some people turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with loss and risk falling into addiction. Substance abuse is never a healthy response to grief.
Video recording discussion on re-entry into the work place as a bereaved survivor and what that might look and feel like when trying to establish a routine.
When someone passes, your words can carry a lot of meaning.
For individuals struggling with substance addiction, the grief process can be especially complex and one condition often fuels the other. Learn more today.
Grieving the loss of a loved one to drug and alcohol abuse is different for everyone. Understanding grief and knowing you're not alone may help.
As a grief support center, Good Grief teaches resilience and facilitates healthy coping in the lives of grieving children, families, students, and communities by providing a caring and understanding environment that is like no other.