By David Coy
We commonly reach out to a person after their loss and after the funeral via letter. The letter is not motivated or intended to be cold or impersonal, as it is crafted personally, and we all believe in what we are attempting to do very sincerely. A person who seeks to speak with someone after a loss will do so for a variety of different reasons. One person may be depressed. One may not give an opportunity for someone to help because they felt they could deal with their loss alone on their own terms. It may also happen that they experienced a first loss that they thought they could handle alone, but an additional loss caused an even more intense sorrow, and they then reached out to us and sought consolation and comfort from someone other than family or friends. Some people do not feel that group support is what they need or are not comfortable with, so they seek individual support. Trying to forget your loss or trying to suppress the feelings or symptoms of our whole system (emotional, physical, social, and spiritual) is not realistic. Our loves and our losses and what we have learned from them make us who we are. Certain things may be triggers that remind you of loved ones lost, and there will be triggers that happen for unknown or uncertain reasons.
We usually send multiple letters. As one person’s explained that they threw out the first, so the subsequent letters of continued follow-up were saying that we really cared for them, the living. This shared experience disclosed that all that a person experiences in normal mourning is healthy and normal as we are accepting the new reality that life has thrust upon us the living. Most people need someone who is willing to actively listen in a non judgmental fashion and do so for as long as needed.
This is Sunrise Aftercare, firstname.lastname@example.org.