INSPIRATION and ENCOURAGEMENTS
This is one of the most helpful grief articles that I found written by Dr. Keith Cobb
Just a few months after I began my medical practice, I met a couple who only hours prior had learned of the death of their 20-year-old son in a car accident. Understandably, they were in shock from the traumatic news and needed help to make it through the difficult days of planning and attending a funeral. I provided a low dose of an anti-anxiety medication to help take the edge off, but no amount of medication can completely ease the pain of losing a loved one.
In spite of years of training to become a physician, on that day I realized I did not yet fully understand the profound effects of grief, nor was I well prepared yet to help others navigate through the difficult journey from pain to recovery. As a physician I am always willing to help my patients with a mild prescription for insomnia and, when requested, a short course of an antidepressant (especially when someone has lost a child). But I always tell them that there will be some pain and anxiety that medication will not completely alleviate.
We all wallow in our grief for a while, but there will come a time when you must find the strength to get out of bed, to do your household responsibilities, to attend to your family and to your career. Become intellectually and emotionally engaged with your family and friends. Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Don't overindulge in alcohol. Take one day at a time. Try to avoid any major financial or life changing decisions for several months or a year. Sometimes a grief support group helps to ease the burden.
Find ways to elevate your outlook on life. Psychologists call this cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). If you can think pleasant thoughts, you can improve your mood. Consider meditation and prayer. Force yourself to think positive thoughts. Visit your favourite park or on a pleasant day, spend some time outdoors. Doing such activities can truly be a task in times of grief, but with practice and persistence, you can manage to do it.
Like so many of my patients who have travelled the sad road of grief, the redeeming aspect of the journey is in their response. It seems that life sends too many unexpected, unwelcomed, and uncontrollable events our way. Often the only aspect we can control is our response.
One of the many lessons I have learned from mourning is that some of the greatest deeds in life go beyond our status in society, our educational degrees, and our material successes.
For most of us, our greatest accomplishments will be our emotional support and relational investments in our family, friends, and acquaintances. Grief serves as a profound reminder of the importance of those relationships and of our limited time in life to nurture them.