How to Cope with Anniversaries of Grief
Dear Bay Weekly:
As we approach the first anniversary of the tragedies of September 11, we at Hospice are mindful of the effect of anniversaries of loss on all who grieve. Anniversaries can be particularly painful because grieving people often do not expect to be as deeply affected by the anniversary of an important loss as they are. Even if the loss occurred many years before, our feelings can be sharp and our tears close. Very often, we may not be sure how to cope.
Hospice offers the following suggestions about dealing with anniversaries of significant loss as we all prepare to deal with the first anniversary of our national tragedy.
1. The first rule about dealing with anniversaries of loss is that there are no rules. Any ceremony or ritual public or private, traditional or creative that provides comfort is appropriate. Everyone deals with grief differently, and each of us needs to respect our own and others way of expressing their loss.
2. Feelings of grief can be present for some time before and after the actual anniversarys date. Grief is not processed according to any preset schedule, so it is no surprising that folks may find themselves experiencing tears, outbursts, lethargy, sadness or other manifestations of their feelings days or weeks before or after the actual anniversary date.
3. There is no shame in asking for help when feelings of loss and pain are overwhelming. Friends, family, clergy, Hospice bereavement staff can all be important sources of support. As we say at Hospice, No one needs to travel the journey of grief alone.
4. It is perfectly acceptable for people to acknowledge the anniversary or respectfully inquire about a person or a familys well-being during the anniversary time. Cards of remembrance can be very supportive. Your expression doesnt have to be elaborate. A note saying Im thinking of you at this time, will be gratefully received.
5. Finally, learning about the process of grief and loss can be helpful. Attending educational seminars like those offered by Hospice, reading books about grief or watching television shows or videos that explain the process of grieving can give one a sense of control. Its not morbid to want to learn about this most universal of human experiences. It can actually be very useful in helping to understand ones responses.
For those of your readers in need of grief support or interested in learning more about the process of grief, Calvert Hospice can help. Please call the Hospice office at 410/535-0892 or 301/855-1226.
Lynn Bonde: Executive Director, Calvert Hospice
|Project Linus blanketeer Katherine Lucas, of St. Leonard, with her 100th blanket, the 1,000th for Project Linus Southern Maryland.
1000 Security Blankets Strong
Dear Bay Weekly:
Our Project Linus Chapter has delivered 1,000 blankets since we started in January 2001.
Thanks to our blanketeers, supporters and Iin getting the word out, we have been able to comfort children with serious illness or trauma with a security blanket.
Jill Malcolm: Coordinator, Project Linus Southern Maryland
P.S. Bay Weekly has kept me in fun activities all summer, thanks to your 8 Days a Week section. The Renaissance Festival was a blast this past weekend, and I heard about their kids-free admission days only in Bay Weekly.
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