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Thursday April 5, 2018


In springtime, I think about the pretty butterflies I often see flying around. Butterflies have long been known as a symbol of rebirth, renewal and happiness. They remind us of how beautiful, delicate and fragile life is. They also teach us to appreciate our loved ones and to be grateful for every moment we have with them. As many of us are dealing with loss in our lives, whether it be from a death, loss of a job, divorce, or some other type, we have to learn how to move forward. Indeed, this seems to be the toughest thing for many of my bereavement clients. They want to move forward, but are at a loss on exactly how to do that. 

Grief has no expiration date. There is no set time on how long you should grieve. It is important that people give themselves time to grieve in their own way. Many people love to tell you that you should be moving forward or handling your grief better, but they are not you. Work your way through grief like a caterpillar goes from being in the cocoon to emerging as a beautiful butterfly: slowly. 

At first, many do not feel like themselves. They are dealing with the realization that some people they considered friends are nowhere to be found while also surprised by some who do provide support. Reach out to your best  friends as they are our cherished blessings. We are not supposed to go through grief alone, though sometimes we do need alone time to absorb what we are feeling. Do not hold in your grief. Talk to a friend about how you are feeling. You may even have a friend who has been through a loss, who can relate to what you are going through. If so, they can give you ideas on how they helped themselves move forward. For many to move forward, they need to memorialize their loved one. Some do special memorial services. Some keep journals of how they feel. Some draw, paint or scrapbook. There will always be songs, scents, movies, restaurants and other things in our daily paths that will remind us of the one we lost. Take those good memories and hold onto them. They will help you in the growth process of moving forward.

The pain will pass. You can never replace the person you lost, but you can find comfort in solitude and befriend it. You do not have to stay busy all the time, but make sure you get the support that you need. Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care offers different support groups, listed at www.mtnvalleyhospice.org/grief-services. Some people are able to benefit more from talking to other people about their loss. This helps them to reconcile the loss, release the pain, and recognize that they are transformed to soar like a butterfly, moving forward in their grief.

—Susan Lytle, Bereavement Coordinator

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


Tags: Grief Support