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Oftentimes we are unsure what to say when we know someone has suffered a loss.
So what do you say?
I am so sorry for your loss.
I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
I don't know how you feel, but I am here to help in any way I can.
You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
My favorite memory of
Everything changes when a loved one dies. And certainly in recent months many lives have been touched by the deaths of loved one. Some of these deaths came about as a result of COVID 19, others have occurred for untold reasons.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one you have experienced a significant loss. Your experience of loss is uniquely yours and there is no one right way to mourn the loss you’ve suffered.
Here on the Ask Me Their Name website we hope you find comforting information, resources and tools to support your experience of loss. We also hope that you will discover a community of those who are walking in grief as well. For someone supporting a friend or family member in their loss, we offer tools and strategies to offer encouragement and support.
Regardless of what brought you to Ask Me Their Name, we invite you to join us in conversations about grief, loss and living a wholehearted life after the loss of a loved one.
In an effort to support open conversations about grief and loss that enable us all to be compassionate it is helpful to have shared understanding around the language of grief. While people often use the words bereavement, grief and mourning interchangeably, these terms are actually somewhat different.
The Mayo Clinic offers this definition of grief:
Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people, regardless of whether their sadness stems from the loss of a loved one or from a terminal diagnosis they or someone they love have received.
In his work on grief and loss, Dr. Alan Wolfelt offers this insight for the word mourning.
Mourning is the outward expression of grief or grief gone public.
Examples of outward expressions of grief could include but are not limited to weeping, visible sadness, talking about the one who died, speaking with tears about your loved one at a funeral, and recognizing special dates from their or your shared life.
Having a grief experience
Perhaps you found your way to this website because you are having an experience of grief and loss. Because our culture is grief averse, and mourners often find themselves alone and isolated in their feelings, it can be helpful to know that symptoms of grief are wide-ranging.
You may find yourself feeling physical symptoms such as tightness in the chest, a sense of physical hollowness, back pain, loss of appetite or weight change, hair loss, muscle tension, lack of energy and dry mouth and sleep disturbances to name a few.
You may find yourself with a confusing set of behavioral challenges such as the sense that you are going crazy, difficulty concentrating, crying, restless over-activity or an inability to focus on a single task for very long. You might also find that all you can think about (or dream about) is your loved one.
Grief affects our social relationships and can look like feeling overly stimulated by crowds, a sense of isolation or a desire for being along or in small groups. Relationship problems may appear between surviving family members. You may feel the need to withdraw or to retell the story of a person’s death. Sometimes nothing seems real.
Grief can put your emotions in high gear. You may find more yourself sensitive to the feelings of others or numb, irritable and fearful. You might be feeling waves of sadness, vulnerability or guilt. Longing, abandonment, anxiety, self-doubt and relief are all part of the feelings that appear after a loved one dies. None of these feelings is “wrong” – they are just information for yourself about what you are experiencing.
You may even find yourself experiencing different physical symptoms, behavioral, social relationships challenges and emotions other than those listed here. That’s because every single person’s grief experience is solely their own. There is no one right way to grieve. There is no shame in any of the aspects of grief you may find yourself experiencing now or in the future. At the same time, you may discover that some of the aspects of loss described on Ask Me Their Name offers insight.
One thing we’ve learned about grief and mourning is that it isn’t meant to be an isolated process. As people, we need our relationships and sense of community to support us during our times of sorrow. It is in honoring and holding our losses tenderly that we can find new meaning, purpose and ways of living alongside our losses. We can find ways of living wholeheartedly after loss by sharing our experiences and being open about the feelings of sadness, regret, doubt, fear or relief.
At Ask Me Their Name it is our hope that we can open conversations and the potential for healing by sharing more about the nature of grief and loss. When we try to hide or stuff down the many different experiences of grief we also end up shutting ourselves off to the experiences of joy too. Instead, if we can be public about our experiences of loss, we can make the path forward easier for one another.
Depression, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common and uncomfortable emotions that we can experience at some point in our lives. Through counseling and treatment, we are able to help you recover motivation, perspective, and joy that you once had in your life.
Many individuals can experience symptoms associated with painful and traumatic circumstances. Anxiety, fear, and hopelessness are a few emotions that can linger post traumatic events. We can help you overcome these symptoms and guide you through the process of grief and healing.
Counseling can be beneficial to couples who are looking to strengthen their emotional connection, in all stages of their relationship. Online sessions are held from the safety of your own home with both couples at a time that is convenient for you through our easy scheduling platform.