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What is Grief?
This presentation defines grief and its many manifestations. Responses to grief are individually unique, influenced by many factors. Current loss reactivates past losses. Support helps individuals to redefine a meaningful life without the physical presence of the deceased loved one.
Living With Loss: Anticipated vs. Sudden Death
Sudden death offers no opportunity to say goodbye or to talk through “unfinished business.” Shock and disbelief are often followed by questions such as “Why did this happen? Can it happen to me too?” In cases of suicide or homicide, the media add another layer of concern. This presentation addresses special issues facing survivors of sudden death.
Coping with Grief During the Holidays
Special days often involve rituals of joy and celebration. After a death, individuals wonder how to “get through” all the firsts – birthday, seasonal holidays, anniversary, etc. How can grief and joy co-exist? Often the anticipation is more difficult than the actual event. This presentation offers suggestions for coping with special days.
Taking Care of Yourself While Grieving
Grief is physically, cognitively, emotionally and spiritually exhausting. Many times individuals “forget” to take care of themselves. This session provides suggestion for caring for oneself while grieving.
This presentation focuses on grief manifestations, types of responses, influencing factors, and grief as a “process of relearning the world” (Attig, 1996) or “meaning reconstruction (Neimeyer, 2000). “Grief attacks” are viewed as a normal response to the loss of a loved one – part of the integration process. Returning to school or work is part of ‘relearning the world’ – moving forward.
Companion Animal Loss (Pet Loss)
Many individuals form very meaningful relationships with their pets. When a pet becomes terminally ill, the individuals or family are faced with many decisions - palliative care at home or in a veterinary hospital, euthanasia…how to say “good-bye”? Because our society does not regard pet death as a “significant loss,” the individuals/family are considered disenfranchised grievers. The needed support provided by others is often missing. However, there are sources of support available in the community and online.
his presentation focuses on anniversary responses experienced by the bereaved, especially those during the first year after the death. The anticipation of a special day often evokes anxiety and a resurgence of intense emotion, but the actual day itself is often less painful than expected.
Individuals who experience disenfranchised grief are often left without support during the time when they are in greatest need. This session explores the types of losses as well as other issues that may result in disenfranchised grief. Support strategies are also addressed.
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