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Coping with grief and loss

Coping with grief and loss

Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009 8:09 am

Bereaved people will find “Grief and Loss: A Guide to Healing,” published by Harvard Medical School, to be practical and resourceful. It has been written in consultation with Michael Hirsch, M.D., Director of Clinical Psychopharmacology and Medical Director of Outpatient Psychiatry at Beth Israel Hospital and Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
The book not only examines the phenomenon of grief and various complications that are part of the grief experience, but it also offers a variety of helpful suggestions that bereaved people can utilize as they navigate their way through grief.
The special supplement that accompanies the book encourages the reader to take a careful look at the importance of their diet, to eat foods that are healthy and avoid foods that are not nutritional. Because the stress of grief can cause a loss of appetite, it is important for one to receive nutrients that are essential for maintaining good health. A multivitamin can supply nutrients one might be missing in their diet.
Because bereavement plays havoc with one’s memory and routine, it is essential that one find a way to remind their self to take prescribed medication at the appropriate time.
Exercise plays an important role in a bereaved person’s daily routine because it reduces the intense pressure that accumulates in the body due to such emotions as fear, anger and depression.
The book encourages bereaved people to engage in “healthy grieving” by using common sense and exercising “safe behavior” such as developing healing relationships with caring people, praying, writing out feelings and memories in a grief journal and using therapeutic techniques that relieve stress; and to avoid “risky behavior” and engaging in counter-productive activities such as heavy drinking, drug abuse or other impulsive efforts to avoid or blot out the pain caused by grief which can result in unwanted and devastating consequences.
The book also counsels bereaved people to take their time in making important decisions regarding moving, changing jobs and getting rid of personal belongings; to express their true feelings; to seek support from family and loved ones; to become part of a grief support group; and to seek the assistance of a grief counselor if one needs to do so.
Bereaved people and professionals will find a wealth of helpful information in this book.
Don Harold Lawrence is coordinator of SUNRISE, which is sponsored by Shackelford Corporation. He may be contacted by mail at 145 Abernathy Drive, Adamsville, TN 38310-3001 or by telephone or fax at (731) 632-4483. His Web address is
Published in The Messenger 7.9.09

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