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WHAT IS BEREAVEMENT?



Bereavement is the process of grieving. This process is different for each person, although every person will experience similar states. The time that it takes to progress through bereavement is also unique to each person. It is common for intensive b ereavement to last anywhere from six months to two years. Your life will never be the same, but you will find a new inner strength identity--just give yourself time. Allow yourself to experience the loss.


THE STRONG EMOTIONS

Part of the healing process involves a period of intense emotions. You must allow yourself to experience these emotions.


ANGER

Anger is a common emotion following a death. You may find yourself angry at a situation, at a person in particular, or just angry in general. You will often find that you take out this anger on those closest around you. You cannot choose to be angry, but you can choose how to express it. Try holding an imaginary conversation with the person you are angry with, or write them a letter that only you need to see. What is making you angry with this person? Talk or write out all of your feeling about that person or situation. Understanding your anger is the fist step toward dealing with it. Hit a pillow, kick a bed, play tennis, or scream if it makes you feel better! The experts claim that exercise is an excellent stress reliever.


GUILT

Whether rational or not, appropriate or not, almost everyone experiences guilt. Guilt can be triggered by almost anything, but usually comes under the heading of “I could have, I should have, I wish I would have...” Acknowledge guilt, by looking at each situation, write it down if you need to. If you feel your guilt is warranted, write an apology--even if you are the only one to read it. Vow to learn from your mistakes and move on.


DEPRESSION

Sometimes feelings of numbness and shock go on longer than the first few weeks. Although it is common to experience some of these earlier symptoms for time to time, it is not a good sign to have these symptoms constantly. Be sure to have at least one person that you can discuss your feelings with. Even better, join a bereavement group. Talk to your doctor about how you feel, and perhaps seek a counselor for further treatment. Call a crisis hotline if you ever feel that you may consider suicide.

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