The older you get the more loss you are going to experience and this loss will take many forms including friends, family, and even co-workers and people from around your neighborhood. Death is a part of life, but it doesn’t mean that grief gets any easier to handle. Losing those that you love and care about is difficult at any age but many seniors feel like they are losing everyone around them and this makes every loss even more profound.
Tips to Help with Grief
It’s important to remember through your bereavement that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. So many of us believe that we need to react a certain way, but everyone has their own way of grieving. Be sure that you allow yourself to mourn in a way that feels right and natural to you. It doesn’t matter how many times you have lost loved ones, it still hurts, so you should allow yourself to go through the grief process.
Many seniors are afraid to ask for help when it comes to their grief. Allow those around you to help you and don’t be afraid to let them know what you need. Perhaps you just need someone to lean on or talk to or maybe you need some help finding depression or grief counseling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those familiar to you.
Don’t grieve alone. There are many places where you can turn to get support and understanding. Many people get involved in depression or grief counseling, others find that grief support groups help, and others turn to the church or just read all of the literature that they can find on grief. The emotions that you are experiencing have been experienced by many and you don’t have to go through this by yourself.
Try to anticipate tough times. Many seniors are caught off guard by holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries and it makes the grief very hard to overcome. Think about these things in advance and try to surround yourself by supportive people during these times. Sometimes just having people around will make the days easier to get through.
As you get older you may find that some deaths are easier to get through than others. But, you should be prepared for the fact that new losses may resurrect the grief associated with old losses. Many seniors find that some deaths bring back the feelings that they experienced when their spouse or parents died. Allow yourself to explore these emotions.
Grief management can be difficult, but when you allow yourself to go through the motions of grief you will find that it is much easier. Remember that you don’t have to go through the process alone. Surround yourself with your own support system and don’t hesitate to learn more and interact with online support groups. Sometimes just the knowledge that you are not alone is enough to keep you going or will inspire you to reach out and cope with others. Grief is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a normal human emotion process and when you embrace it you’ll find that you can move through it more constructively.
Written by Mike Vines for Seniorlist.com