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Health Care
Aug 30, 2021

Healthy Ways To Cope with Grief

Sponsored Content provided by Kelly Erola - Chief Medical Officer, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

With more than 650,000 deaths in the United States due to COVID-19, and numbers still growing, chances are you or someone you know has lost a loved one or friend due to the pandemic, or may in the coming months. Coping with the death of a loved one is challenging and emotionally overwhelming. People will experience a wide range of emotions including shock, anger, guilt, and extreme sadness. Grief can also have effects on your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat or even concentrate. 


Everyone’s grief is different and personal to them; there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
There are healthy ways to cope with grief that can help ease your sadness and come to terms with your loss to help you move on with your life over time.

Understand that grief is normal.  Feeling intense sadness, pain, disbelief, anger, and guilt are to be expected after the loss of a loved one. Not only crying, but other reactions such as numbness, physical exhaustion, and yearning for the person you lost is normal.

Allow yourself to mourn.  Mourning is the public expression of grief. It is how you share your grief with those who are also grieving the loss, or those who want to support you. Religion, culture, and personal belief can play a part in how people mourn. Mourning is critical in helping lessen the pain of grief and finding a way forward after loss.

Take care of yourself! Remember grief can manifest itself physically through disrupted sleep, loss of appetite, lack of interest in everyday tasks, and problems concentrating. Consider connecting with others for meals or taking a walk to get you out and moving. If health issues persist, a trip to your doctor is a good idea.

Don’t make major decisions. Grief has a way of clouding decision-making abilities. Whenever possible, postpone making major decisions: taking a new job, moving to a new city, or making significant financial decisions. If you must make such decisions, reach out to a family member or trusted friend for input.

Get support from others. Although it is normal to feel all alone and want to withdraw from the world, the support of family, friends, and/or a spiritual leader can help you move past the severe initial stages of grief.
Professional grief counseling may also help you find healthy ways to cope with your grief and ease the pain of loss. Lower Cape Fear LifeCare (formerly Lower Cape Fear Hospice) offers grief care for adults and children coping with the death of someone special in their lives. Lower Cape Fear LifeCare offers a variety of grief support groups. Currently, these are being offered in a secure, virtual environment.

Our grief care programs are open to anyone in the community who has lost a loved one, whether or not they were served by Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. Thanks to the generous gifts of our donors, grief care is available free of charge.

To schedule an appointment with a counselor or find out more about our grief support programs, call 910-796-7900 or visit www.lifecare.org to see a schedule of upcoming grief care offerings. Our expert counselors are here to help you heal and move on with life.


Kelly Erola, MD, FAAHPM, FAAFP, is currently the Chief Medical Officer for Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, based in Wilmington, NC, where she has worked since 2017. Previously, she was Chief Medical Officer for Hospice Savannah, Inc. for 16 years and physician leader of the Steward Center for Palliative Care. Dr. Erola is board certified in hospice and palliative care medicine and has been involved full-time in palliative care since 2002.
 
 

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