Practically  Together. . .

At times we need solitude to process our emotions. However, at other times it is important that we allow other people in to support us and be together with us as we grieve.  Sometimes the help we need is not emotional but in dealing with the practical changes that have occurred as a result of the death of our loved one.  The following will give you information to find the help that suits your need.

Are you struggling to cope with your grief and sadness?

Seek out counselling help.  Whether you need the specialized education of a psychologist or just someone safe to talk to, a counsellor is a good resource. Also, many counselling agencies have programs to assist those who could not otherwise afford counselling services. Another good resource is a church. Many churches offer a variety of formal programs as well as having staff available for individual assistance. You usually do not need to follow a particular faith or belong to a specific church to access their programs or other staff. Churches aim to help all people regardless of their personal belief system.

Has the loss of your loved one changed your financial situation?

Whether you have insurance money to decide what to do with, or you need to figure out how to manage the loss of your loved one’s income to your budget, a financial planner can assist you. Financial planners can be found at your local bank, online or  in the yellow pages.

Are you overwhelmed or not sure who to contact for help?

A social worker is someone who helps identify where you need help, can assist you with solutions to your problems, or help you find the right agency to assist you with your area of difficulty. To find a social worker contact the Canadian Association of Social Workers (contact information below) and ask for your province’s contact information.

Has the loss of your loved one caused you to question your belief in God?

Often times the death of a loved one causes us to question the meaning of life, our sense of spirituality and perhaps even our own mortality. A pastor at a church can help you talk through these questions. You do not need to belong to a particular religious group or denomination. Pastors are available to speak with you regardless of your beliefs. If you don’t feel comfortable going to a church or talking to a pastor, remember that God is always available regardless of where you are or what time it is.

Practical help. . .

Agencies to look for in your area:

  • Crisis support centres
  • Counselling centres
  • Local churches

Canada

Canadian agencies. . .

Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family is a non-profit organization that aims to assist individuals by providing specific types of care.  Whether you need advice, support or encouragement, Focus on the Family can help you.  Along with a website full of resources (in English and French) they also offer personal counselling (including a free one-time consultation), and prayer support.

Canadian Association of Social Workers

Canadian Mental Health Association

Government agencies 

  • Service Canada – a federal government agency which offers a variety of programs, benefits and services
  • Provincial government websites – each province has its own government website with a variety of resources and links to other agencies.

It is so important to not grieve alone; take the time to find someone to share your journey with you.

Does anyone know where I can find a copy of the rules of thought, feeling, and behavior in these circumstances? It seems like there should be a rule book somewhere that lays out everything exactly the way one should respond to a loss like this. I'd surely like to know if I'm doing it right. Am I whining enough or too much? Am I unseemly in my occasional moments of lightheartedness? At what date am I supposed to turn off the emotion and jump back on the treadmill of normalcy? Is there a specific number of days or decades that must pass before I can do something I enjoy without feeling I've betrayed my dearest love? And when, oh when, am I ever really going to believe this has happened? Next time you're in a bookstore, as if there's a rule book
Jim Beaver, Life's That Way: A Memoir
“Don't say mourning. It's too psychoanalytic. I'm not mourning. I'm suffering.”
Roland Barthes, Mourning Diary
" Mourning is one of the most profound human experiences that it is possible to have... The deep capacity to weep for the loss of a loved one and to continue to treasure the memory of that loss is one of our noblest human traits".
Shneidman (1980)
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