Emotional Support for Bereaved Families
Each culture frames bereavement in its own way. Yet, grieving often includes a sense of loss expressed as a feeling of absence and longing for the deceased. There is no ‘normal’ or ‘correct’ way to mourn. It is a spiritual, personal, natural process after experiencing loss.
The loss of a loved one elicits a broad spectrum of emotions to surface. These may include, sadness, emptiness, anger, loneliness, guilt, helplessness, and the sense that life is devoid of meaning. Physical symptoms such as pain, insomnia, loss of appetite, and more, may appear as well. Every emotion is legitimate and has a place in the mourning process.
Mourning itself is a natural process enabling relatives to part from the deceased emotionally, and to cope with their distress. Mourning allows to take time out from the regular activities of life in order to replenish the energy needed for carrying on with life.
Often a mourner needs the support of family, friends, or a professional therapist. The mourner may require short-term help or ongoing assistance.
Supporting people who experience loss begins with a simple statement: “I'm with you.” Some mourners want to talk, and share about the deceased and / or their personal feelings of loss. They need someone to listen to them, to support them in their mourning.
A therapist can provide the mourner with information about the mourning process, loss and adjustment. Therapists may encourage the mourner to feel self-compassion and share techniques for regulating emotions, encourage supportive connections with close family and friends, provide opportunities to share stories about the deceased, and perpetuate the deceased’s memory. Therapy provides the mourner with the chance to learn coping and rehabilitation methods through empathy, normalization and emotional containment, guidance and encouragement. These tools assist the mourner in finding meaning and hope.
During the current Coronavirus crisis, when the natural frameworks of
family and community support are absent - due to in self-isolation or medically required quarantine, emotional support by a professional is all the more important.
The arrival of spring, with Passover and many other holidays, normally brings families and friends together and can heighten the bereaved family’s pain. We are here for you, and offer assistance through one of our volunteer counselors.