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Tuesday July 18, 2017

Grief is like an ocean. The water touching your toes can be like memories touching your soul—easy to think about, even relaxing. The sunrise over the ocean is like the beautiful life you shared with your loved one. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore can be as sweet as the laughs you used to share. The seashells lying along the beach are like the little-but-significant things that your loved one left behind that are so special to you.

Grief is like an ocean. The water tossing a boat back and forth while the passengers wonder if they'll ever make it back to shore is like the rocky waters of wondering how to find your new "normal." The fear of the waves knocking you down causes your heart to stop for a split-second, just like the fear of losing a loved one. The storm cloud lingering over the ocean is like remembering the sadness and the regret one might feel after losing someone close.

Grief, like an ocean, can be scary. But just like the boat was built capable of facing the storm, Mountain Valley Hospice has bereavement counselors who are trained to help you wade through some of the emotions you are facing. They are here to listen when you want to reminisce on the beautiful life of your loved one.

Your support system is intact in order to help you find a new normal, which can be a very scary thing. Your normal may have been caring for your loved one 24/7. Your normal may have involved people visiting and helping to take care of your loved one. Now that your loved one has passed away, the new normal can be a hard adjustment. As you adjust, you may feel lonely or afraid. Just like the captain of a boat may call for help in getting the passengers back to shore safely, don't be afraid to ask for help in your adjustment. Mountain Valley Hospice has support groups where you can connect with those who feel similar. You don’t have to feel as if you are alone.

While grieving, please try to remember that if you feel as if the waves are tossing you around in the ocean, to the point that you hit the bottom and scrape your skin on the ocean floor, you will still be able to overcome it and get back to the shore. Though the storm may be rough and scary sometimes, it won’t last forever; sunny days are soon to follow. When you feel as if you are drowning in the ocean, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I hope you have more "calm waters and sunsets" than "storms and rocking boats," but know that life comes with both scenarios. The good news is, you can make it through either.

—Rachel Waddell, Social Worker (Hillsville Office)

Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care offers free grief support to the community at large. For more information, contact us today at 336-789-2922 (toll-free 1-888-789-2922).

Tags: Grief Support