(Family Understandings That Help)
• We understand that a family member may need space to be alone and quiet; we will insure that space is given.
• We understand that if a family member needs “closeness,” it will be given upon request or offered when we sense that it is needed.
• We will allow tears and sorrow to flow. There is no need to hide alone to cry.
• We recognize and honor the fact that some of us may adjust to the loss sooner than others.
• We agree to periodically come together as a family to touch base on how we are adjusting to the loss. We won’t take for granted that we are doing well simply because we aren’t talking about it.
• On holidays and anniversaries (during the first year) we will make a point to talk about our loved one and will plan something meaningful to honor him/her. We understand that this may cause sorrow but will also be healing.
• We understand that sorrow can come out in displays of irritability, anger, or frustration. We will try to determine the reason behind the display of emotion. We will try to remember that we have all been deeply hurt by our loss & the pain lingers even when it is not being openly discussed
• We understand that no “one” family member can meet all of our needs. We can ask for help from people outside the family. We won’t be afraid to lean on others when the grief becomes intense. We will support a family member’s need to seek professional help.
• We understand that the world soon forgets about our loss and outside support is often stopped too soon. Therefore we as a family will need to support one another during the long healing process.
• We will not expect any one person in the family to be the “strong one.” This strength may come at the cost of delaying the grief and the opportunity to heal.
• We will take into consideration everyone’s feelings when deciding how and when to dispose of our loved one’s personal items.
• We understand that both the young and the old will grieve and will need to talk about their feelings.
• We will delay hasty decisions or moves during the first year of our grief.
• We understand that a family member may experience a temporary loss of faith. Questioning is a normal part of trying to make sense of what happened. We will listen without being judgmental.
© OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center