Dealing with grief

Grandpa and 5-year-old Julie (2006)

Everyone grieves differently. When our 15-year-old granddaughter, Julie, was killed one year and eight months ago, my husband and I were completely devastated. We could barely put one foot in front of the other. At first we worked with a grief counselor, which was helpful for a while. We also tried taking antidepressants. After a short while, we gave up both and decided to try coping on our own.

We grieved for our loss - never seeing her again and enjoying the wonderful time we spent together in the summer, never hearing about her favorite school courses (chorus, especially) and seeing her realize her hopes and dreams. Beyond that, though, my husband and I grieved very differently.

He couldn’t stop thinking of the future Julie might have had - falling in love, getting married, having children, and who knows what else? We had planned on taking her to New York City the summer after we last saw her, and my husband kept playing over and over in his mind what he planned to show her and what we were going to do together. On the other hand, I kept playing over and over in my mind events from the past - the fun times times we had together, the phone calls and texts, what I might have done differently to show her even more how much I loved her.

We both knew she loved us very much, and we knew that she knew we loved her dearly, but we could not escape our feelings. I found a great website called HelpGuide that has lots of material on the issues pertaining to our discussions and much, much more. I encourage you to go to their site and look around. I am sure you will find a great deal of interesting, important, useful information there. Here’s an excerpt from their article on the grieving process:

How to deal with the grieving process

While grieving a loss is an inevitable part of life, there are ways to help cope with the pain, come to terms with your grief, and eventually, find a way to pick up the pieces and move on with your life.

  • Acknowledge your pain.

  • Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.

  • Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you.

  • Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.

  • Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.

  • Recognize the difference between grief and depression.

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