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Those who are grieving are more than just aware of their grief day to day; it quite often takes over their lives in an overwhelming way. They find themselves changed — not just their lives and the people in it or not in it anymore — but they are themselves changed and do not look at things in quite the same way.
Throughout my career as a bereavement counselor, marriage and family therapist, pastor and chaplain, it has become abundantly clear to me just how much grief and loss there is all around us, every day. It has also made me cherish time with my own loved ones more because of the stories I hear all the time about loss and the crushing heartbreak that comes with it.
If you are grieving, try a new way to support yourself in your grief. Reach out for support from someone or someplace where you haven’t looked before.
If you are not grieving, but you know someone who is, think about ways that you can further support them. Encourage them to seek out support, as well. Just being with someone in grief sometimes is the best support you can give — letting them lead and guide the conversation or the silence as it unfolds.
Even if you don’t know anyone who is grieving and loss has not yet been a part of your life, you can always contact a bereavement service and gather some information to help yourself or those around you when a loss does occur.
Support comes from each other, and we are all here to support and uphold one another in times of joy — and in times of sorrow.
Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” says when bad things happen, others are there “to hug us and hold our hands and dry our tears so that we don’t feel abandoned.” We are here for each other.
Jennifer Larson LaRue is a bereavement counselor in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.