The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered everyone’s daily lives, including how people grieve the loss of a loved one. Dealing with loss and grief can be aided through the support of licensed counselors at the Cabell Huntington Hospital Counseling Center.
“There is no right or wrong way to deal with grief and loss,” said Christie Eastman, MA, LPC, manager of the Cabell Huntington Hospital Counseling Center. “Grieving doesn’t mean that you have to feel certain emotions. People grieve in very different ways. We can support people with ways to deal with grief and loss that help them adapt to life without their loved one.”
Grief is a process of transitioning, and learning to acknowledge and live with loss. There is no specific timeline, as this happens for every person differently. Eastman offered some guidance to deal with loss including:
• Acknowledging that your process of grief is unique to you, and resisting comparing yourself to how someone else grieves. This is especially important if you are grieving differently than a family member.
• Making space for the differences in the process is the best way to support one another as you adjust to the loss of a loved one.
• Preserving positive memories of your relationship with your loved one, and relegate the negative memories to a compassionate place inside of you. At times there is a lot of unresolved hurt in the relationship, and though the individual is gone, that hurt might not be. Just because they are gone doesn’t mean you must now suppress the truth of that pain. Find a trusted other to help you work through those private pains.
• Seeking support through counseling, pastoral support or support groups. Talk to others who are bereaved/ grieving to share the wisdom of your experience as well as to learn from theirs. Walking the journey together helps normalize that loss is a part of life, and that we are all in this together.
The Cabell Huntington Counseling Center provides one-on-one counseling as well as couple, family, and group counseling.
“We now have the ability to connect with individuals through telehealth,” Eastman said. “We can offer support and resources to help people adjust to loss and deal with grief and connect with others who are also experiencing their own losses.
To get more information, please contact the counseling center at 304.526.2049.