Chaplains are available as a listening, caring presence for those who are grieving. We experience grief through a variety of life changes, both positive and negative. Often it is helpful to have a safe place to share some of the feelings and emotions we are going through.
When grieving the death of a loved one:
- Know that the death of a loved one affects your head, heart and spirit. Some of the symptoms you may experience are absentmindedness, confusion, disorganization, explosive emotions, fear, guilt and relief. These are normal for people in grief.
- Know that our grief is unique. No two people will grieve exactly the same.
- Try not to keep your grief bottled up. Find a space to grieve openly. Healing comes about as you share your feelings with others.
- Try to put off major decisions for at least a year.
- Know that you can survive. It may seem like you can’t, but you can.
- Find a support system. Seek out those people who encourage you to be yourself and who acknowledge the range of your feelings.
- Know and accept your physical and emotional limits. Feelings of loss and grief may leave you fatigued. Your ability to think clearly and make decisions may be difficult. Respect what your body and mind are telling you, and be gentle with yourself.
- Be patient and tolerant with yourself. Find ways to forgive yourself. Accept those things that are beyond your control and focus your time and energy on things you can control.
- Realize that there may be a search for meaning. It‘s OK to ask questions. Some questions have answers and some don't. This search is a normal part of grieving.
- Remember that grief is a process, not an event. Grief takes time.
- Be reminded that God has not forgotten you.
Grief counseling is available through Pastoral Care services on request.
Pastoral Care Services
Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital
2204 Wilborn Ave.
South Boston, VA 24592