None of us knows how disconcerting death is until we experience it, as in the loss of someone we hold dear to us. Our resilience and ability to deal with death may be very different than we anticipate. Most people in grief just need to know that they are not “losing their minds” and the feelings they have are “normal.” There is help in the form of educational information and support groups.
At Myers Chapel, our service does not end at the chapel or graveside service. It continues into the days, weeks and months after the death, as families work through feelings that we term the “Journey through Grief.” Through our Aftercare Program, we endeavor to assist families for as long as they may need our support. These services are available at NO COST.
Just as love transforms us, so too does grief.” … Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D.
Four Stages of Mourning
Stage I: To Accept the Reality of the Loss
The first stage of grieving is to come full face with the reality that the person is dead … that the person is gone and will not return.
Many people who have sustained a loss find themselves calling out for the lost person and they sometimes tend to misidentify others in their environment.
The opposite of accepting the reality of the loss is not believing through some type of denial.
It should be emphasized that after a death, it is very normal to hope for a reunion or to assume that the deceased is not gone. However, for most people, this illusion is short-lived, at least for this life … and this enables them to move through to Stage II.
Stage II: To Experience the Pain of Grief
Experiencing the pain of grief includes the literal physical pain that many people experience and the emotional and behavioral pain associated with loss. It is necessary to acknowledge and work through this pain or it will manifest itself through some symptom or other form of aberrant behavior.
One of the aims of grief counseling is to help people get through this difficult second stage so they don’t carry the pain with them throughout their lives.
Stage III: To Adjust to an Environment in which the Deceased is Missing
Adjusting to a new environment means different things to different people, depending on what the relationship was with the deceased and the various roles the deceased played. For many widows, it takes a considerable period of time to realize what it is like to live without their husbands. This realization often begins to emerge around three months after the loss and involves coming to terms with living alone, raising children alone, facing an empty house and managing finances alone.
Stage IV: To Withdraw Emotional Energy and Reinvest it in Another Relationship
The fourth and final stage in the grieving process is to effect an emotional withdrawal from the deceased person so that this emotional energy can be reinvested in another relationship.
The fourth stage is hindered by holding on to the past attachment rather than going on and forming new ones. Some people find loss so painful that they make a pact with themselves to never love again.
One benchmark of a completed grief reaction is when the person is able to think of the deceased without feeling pain. There is always a sense of sadness when one thinks of someone he or she has loved and lost, but it is a different kind of sadness — it lacks the wrenching quality it previously had.
Available Brochures and Books
Because we care, we offer free-of-charge brochures on the following subjects, as part of our extended services. Please review the list and call or e-mail us to let us know in which brochures you have an interest. Also, please let us know your name, phone number, address, name of deceased and date of death.
There are many books available on the subject of transition. Because we care, we provide you with a review of books that we may have or that may be found in your local library or bookstore. If you have questions regarding these books, or books in any specific area of grief, please contact us.
- When Your Parent Has Died
- When a Son or Daughter Has Died
- When Death is by Trauma
- When a Loved One Has Died of AIDS
- How to Help Children Cope with Death
- When You are Widowed
- When Your Brother or Sister Has Died
- Teen Grief — It Just Doesn’t Fit
- When a Baby Has Died
- When a Grandparent Has Died
- When Someone Special Dies
- Physical Grief
- When You Are a Survivor of Suicide
- Understanding Grief (available in English or Spanish)
Does Anyone Else Hurt This Bad and Live?
By Carlene Vester Eneroth
Practical tips, humor and understanding are given to those who are hurting.
Briefly written in a hopeful tone to enlighten and encourage.
The Fall of Freddie The Leaf
By Dr. Leo Buscaglia
A metaphorical story of life and death, and the changing seasons of life.
With color photographs.
Remembering With Love
By E. Levang and S. Lise
These messages of hope are short, readable pages that affirm, support
and teach about loss and love.
What Helped Me When My Loved One Died
By Earl A. Grollman
A collection of personal stories from people who have lost loved ones.
Covers a wide range of relationships and ages.
Life After Loss
By Bob Deits
This is one of the wisest, most reassuring, practical and readable
guides available to adults dealing with losses of all kinds.
When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults
By Edward Myers
Explores in detail the emotional impact — depression, sibling conflict, guilt,
and even psysical distress — that a parent’s death may cause.
Why Are the Casseroles Always Tuna?
By Darcie D. Sims
A loving look at the lighter side of grief that affirms the normalcy of
grief again adn again through laughter as well as tears.
Empty Cradle, Broken Heart
By Deborah L. Davis
Comprehensive and sensitive book showing a wide range of
experiences following the death of a baby, and offering ways to cope.
Recovering from the Loss of a Loved One to AIDS
By Katherine Fair Donnelly
This book is filled with front-line vignettes that are revealing and compassionate. The author has accomplished something remarkable: a written support group
for everyone — grieving families, friends and caregivers.
Words I Never Thought to Speak
By Victoria Alexander
Skillfully edited stories of many who have lost someone through suicidal
death, grieved their losses, and gained resiliency.
By Sherry Gibson
Offers many practical and creative ways newly bereaved people can cope
with loss during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Heaven’s Not a Crying Place
By Joey O’Connor
Teaching your child about funerals, death, and the life beyond.
I Heard Your Daddy Died
By Mark Scrivani
This book is for children ages 2 through 6. It is a simple and helpful tool for family and caregivers to read to children who have lost their father. This book lets children know that it is okay for them to cry and be sad, and also to be happy and play. There are many ideas to help children remember their father. This book encourages discussion and lets children know that all their feelings are normal.
I Heard Your Mommy Died
By By Mark Scrivani
This book is for children ages 2 through 6. It is a simple and helpful tool for family and caregivers to read to children who have lost their mother. This book lets children know that it is okay for them to cry and be sad, and also to be happy and play. There are many ideas to help children remember their mother. This book encourages discussion and lets children know that all their feelings are normal.