Mental Health America
sky   In Crisis?
  24 Hour Crisis
  & Suicide Hotline
  (317) 251-7575 or
  (800) 273-TALK

Print Version Increase Font Size Decrease Text Size

A Grieving Experience

No one has taught us how to act or what to say when someone dies. More importantly, no one has taught us what it feels like to grieve. Grieving is like a wound that is raw and painful. In time the wound will heal but there will always be a scar. Although we want things to be like it was before, it will never be the same again. Death of a loved one changes our lives forever. We have physical sensations and it hurts physically. There is a knot in our stomach and a sinking feeling when we think about the person who is gone. When we think, we feel and when we feel, we hurt. These are normal reactions to losing someone who has been in our lives forever. Some of us will cry, withdraw, and look sad while others of us will cry in private and wear an " I'm doing fine" face in public. What we need to remember is that we all will feel grief and when we can accept the grief we are able to move forward in a healthy manner. How we express the grief is not the issue, but allowing ourselves to feel the grief is very important.

One of the ways many people can get through grief is to write. Writing makes us think and sort out everything as it gives our scattered thoughts more of an orderly place in our lives. In the process of writing you can put your thoughts down on paper and that will be a special release for some feelings. It's ok , then to burn the letter and scatter the ashes to the wind. We need to acknowledge the irreplaceable loss and try to live each day as best as we can. Let our act of living allow some laughter and our interest in life be a tribute of respect for the loved one who has gone before us. Grief is appropriate, but it must be allowed to heal. The quality of our relationship which our deceased loved one is found in our strength and ability to create a new and meaningful life.

Here are some don'ts to think about after the loss of your loved one:
DON'T remove or throw away belongings for at least several months. Wait until you are thinking more clearly as you need to give some thought about what you wish to keep. DON'T wash all the clothing right away as you might enjoy the lingering smell of your loved one or wearing a piece of their favorite article of clothing can be quite comforting. DON'T be afraid to talk about the person who has passed away as it will be good for you to be able to mention their name or tell their stories. DON'T hesitate to say "I'm having a bad day" and reach out to those friends and families who want to support you in your time of grief. DON'T stop living and loving because the best you can do is find the good in each day.
For more information about grieving and other mental health issues you can go online to or call 1-800-969-6642. Check our, your local site.

Contact Us

Mental Health America of Jackson County
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176