Vail Daily letter: A guide to grieving
My mother was always there to take care of the family. She cared for us when we were sick. So when she had heart issues and needed surgery, we took care of her. She recovered well, but unfortunately developed an infection in her wound. I still remember the lump in my throat and kicking myself thinking we could have done more for her. Mother went to a nursing facility for a few weeks. Time seemed to stand still. Then when we got her home, we were overwhelmed by the loss of her independence. It was great that we could be there to help but it was unbelievable that this was our Mom. Celine died on a Tuesday Morning. Despite friends that were there to express and provide support, I must say that I have never felt so alone. I must have heard a thousand times from well meaning people that my mom had gone on to a better place and, yes, I was grateful that she was not suffering any more. But the truth was that I wasn’t done sharing my life with my mom.
In the spring of 2011, I received my certification to be a Grief Recovery Specialist. During this workshop, I realized that despite being busy and strong from my family, I still had a huge hole in my heart. It was in this caring environment that I learned to tell the truth. The Grief Recovery Outreach Program is available in our community.
It is an action program for moving beyond death, divorce and other losses. The program gives participants specific actions to take, so they can recover from loss. Each outreach program runs in either a group or one-on-one setting for six to 12 weeks.
It’s for anyone who has experienced a significant emotional loss and wants to feel better. Types of loss are not limited to death and divorce. Many people join the outreach program because of grief over moving, loss of trust, or one of the other 40 types of losses a person could experience in his or her lifetime.
Most traditional support groups segregate participants by the type of loss they’ve experienced. There is no benefit in doing that. Even if two people experienced a similar type of loss they still wouldn’t have the exact same experiences because all relationships are unique. Focusing on the type of loss puts the focus in the wrong place. We work on every type of loss.
It is action based. Although many traditional grief support groups offer a safe environment for a griever to talk about their feelings, talking only provides short-term relief. Talking about your feelings can be beneficial, but it’s not enough. The program is designed to guide grievers through a series of actions to complete the pain associated with their feelings.
The next Grief Recovery Outreach Program will start on late August. The group experience is noteworthy. One-on-one sessions are available as well. In either form, the Grief Recovery Program works.
Celynn McClarrinon, LSW