Bereavement resources aren’t something you think about every day, but they can be a lifeline after you’ve experienced the death of someone you love. The effects of losing a loved one don’t end with the conclusion of the memorial service. Your grief doesn’t suddenly lift the moment you pick up the urn with that person’s cremains. In fact, in many cases, that is just about the point that the shock wears off and the grief really sets in and you are left to figure out how to manage it while still living your life and completing your daily tasks.
Death is hard for those who are left behind. It isn’t an event that occurs often enough for us to develop coping mechanisms. Beyond that, each case is different; each person is different. Finding your way through such a difficult time can be exhausting. It helps to have certain bereavement resources available that can help you, such as grief counseling, support groups, and mental health. These three stories show just how important these services are to people experiencing a loss.
Melody: “Grief Counseling Saved Me”
When I lost my daughter in a car accident, I thought my life was over. I cried when I first found out, but then all through the wake and service I was numb. A friend suggested I check Phaneuf’s bereavement resources page and get some help. At first, I was reluctant. I thought I was doing fine, but I was only holding in all those emotions. One day it was like everything came bubbling to the surface and I couldn’t stop crying.
That sweet friend was there for me and, again, she suggested the resources page – then she pulled it up for me. I contacted one of the organizations there and began grief counseling. It changed my life. I still miss my daughter and it still hurts, but I am much better at managing it and am learning how to return to my life and reconnect with my husband and other children, enjoying our time together.
Leonard: “I Found Out I Wasn’t Alone”
Losing someone can make you feel so alone. When I lost my sister, my best friend, I thought my own life was over. I had never felt so alone and isolated. All I wanted to do was sit in my apartment, but the loneliness was overwhelming. My other sister asked me to come with her to a support group she was attending. It was for people who had lost siblings. I didn’t really want to go, but she wouldn’t leave me alone. To be honest, I just went to shut her up. But as I sat there and listened to the others in the group, I realized that I had found somewhere to belong, and I wasn’t so alone anymore. That group has now become an important part of my week.
Virginia: “Depression Almost Claimed Me.”
After a long battle with kidney disease, my husband of 34 years passed away. Just like that, my partner, lover, friend, confidant, and partner in crime was gone. I was breathless. Everywhere I looked I saw reminders of him. He was in every restaurant I ate at, every store I shopped, every sidewalk I walked down – there was always something to call up some memory of him. I didn’t realize I was sinking deeper and deeper into depression until one day I realized I could not remember the last time I had eaten or showered – or even been out of the house. Something had to change.
My daughter-in-law had been reaching out to me, so I asked her to come over. She was there in a flash and together we poured over bereavement resources until we found a mental health counselor who specialized in loss. I am getting better. I’m not 100 percent yet, but each day I find little victories. I can breathe again.
At Phaneuf, we understand that this is an emotional, often confusing time. To help you get through it, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of New Hampshire bereavement resources. If you don’t find what you need within our list, contact us and we will help you find what you need