When a cherished friend or family member dies, the grieving process begins. It’s not something we get over quickly. Even if we know the stages of grief – shock, denial, anger/guilt, despair/depression, acceptance – they aren’t something we can move through like a checklist.
“Everyone has their own unique journey through grief,” said ACMC Chaplain Dorian Morrell. “We can move forward and backward through the stages of grief as time goes on. It can take years to learn to adjust to loss in our life.”
Chaplain Morrell added that grief is not just an emotional response to the loss of a loved one – there are also mental, physical, and social components to grief. That’s one reason why grief experts advise not to make serious, life-changing decisions for at least a year or more.
“People must learn to face their daily lives – where they go, who they interact with, and more. A favorite restaurant may be avoided for years because the memories of the loved one stir our emotions. Some people stop doing anything, while others try to reinvent their lifestyle as they grieve,” she said. “Our cognitive ability can be so impaired by grief that we could make decisions we regret for years.”
Learn how to navigate the grieving process with Ashtabula County Medical Center’s Journey Through Grief support group. Meetings start Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at New Leaf Event Center, 110 Gateway Ave. in Conneaut. The group will meet weekly for eight weeks and discuss the parts of grief and learn various ways to navigate through each stage. Since this is an ACMC-hosted event, masks will be required for each meeting. To register, contact Chaplain Dorian Morrell (997-6628) or Social Worker Case Manager Kym Tome (994-2624) or visit www.acmchealth.org/grief.