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Living With Grief

It's important to discover a clear and deep understanding of how sadness has affected our life and to learn a model of completion to be used moving forward when new losses arise. Grief experts feel that "grief does not have to take over your life, recovery from any loss is possible." Here is important information that grief and wellness counselors want those who are grieving to know.

Aside from limited discussions about death and divorce, grief was never a topic most of us was ever introduced to growing up. And even when we did have these fringed conversations, they were often only met with, "time heals all wounds" from our elders, rather than an engagement about how those life events were affecting us. With those four words being my only real sense of direction, I prayed for time to pass and the next year to arrive quickly; I did everything I could think of to numb my pain and wait for Father Time to come to my rescue.

How we learn to cope with grief will greatly affect our health and well-being, and unresolved grief is accumulative over our lifetime. Each new and unresolved loss continues building a "soul reservoir," threatening to buckle, split at the seams, and sweep us wildly away with no chance of keeping our head above the flood waters. In a society where we are uncomfortable talking about sadness and loss, we often turn to secret and unhealthy coping mechanisms instead, relying on food, alcohol, and drugs to find personal relief. We find the same thing happening to children trying to deal with their emotions - self-destructing because they do not know how to process what they are feeling in a healthy manner.

Grief is the normal reaction to a significant emotional loss. While death and divorce are our most common producers of grief, there are over 40 life events that can produce symptoms of grief. Grief is often misdiagnosed as Clinical Depression due to the similarity of symptoms; lack of attention, focus, or motivation; change in appetite; trouble sleeping or sleeping too much; fatigue or lack of energy; and mood changes. Grief in the work place results in diminished productivity. It can also be linked to an increase in on-the-job accidents and injuries.

The pain that is felt from loss is the dark emotion that can cripple us; drive us to places we have never been before. Once we have arrived at that new, hidden, dark place, how do we return? Identifying those unrealized hopes, dreams and expectations that have produced our grieving need to be actively reconciled...not just subdued and ignored while we wait for time to pass.

For most of us we need more than just giving it time; we need to grieve the loss of a normal childhood, a divorce, the death of a loved one, and find acceptance with the things that have delivered us heartbreak. We need to work through action-oriented steps to find closure and peace. Grief counseling can help create healthier relationships in your life. Patterns of behavior will be revealed and you will learn how you may have been carrying unresolved emotions into new relationships. For additional information, visit

Easy Living Services, Inc. has supported Atlanta families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled and safe at home since 1994. Easy Living's Home Care assistance is designed to assure comfort, companionship and personal attention. Call to discuss options: 770-442-8664.

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