Family 411: The response to loss


Eight million people were coping with the death of someone in their immediate family last year.

There were 800,000 new widows and widowers according to the National Mental Health Association.Mary Trudeau's partner died about a year ago form cancer.

As an insurance agent, Marie knows there are no guarantees about our health or how long we will live.

"I thought for a while though, that losing him was tearing my heart out. But watching him in pain was tearing my guts out."

Marie says she has enrolled in classes and had counseling to deal with her grief. She made a coliseum in art therapy after she had a dream about it.

For Marie's family and others, this inpatient 24-7 hospice center offers compassionate care and support.

"Grief is a thief. It took my concentration. My memory. My energy."

While you may have heard of the stages of grief, counselors say how we handle it is varied and personal.

"Everyone is different," says grief counselor Brent Simonds. "Everyone goes through different grieving symptoms."

Creating a memory book is one way Marie coped with her loss.

"Telling your story is one of the most important things you can do," said Simonds.

Counselors say there's no time limit.

Any time is a good time to get help with grief. Because you need to deal with it.

"It comes out in some other way. It might be inability to function at work, inability to function with others. Frustration," said Simonds.

Counselors tell us it's extra important for grieving people to eat healthy meals and get sleep.

"Just reach out and ask for help and take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself."

Counselors say if you are grieving, it's a good idea to do at least one nice thing for yourself everyday.

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