The death of a loved one can have a profound influence on your life. Grief is a natural reaction to loss and its impact can be felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Everyone however copes with the loss of a loved one differently. People often grieve in their own way and in their own time. Oncology social workers can listen and assist individuals in discovering new ways to cope with loss and the array of emotions that accompany grief. The support you receive from a professional oncology social worker can help you heal.
The Benefits of Individual Counseling for the Bereaved
Help you better understand the grief process and cope with the feelings that are evoked by grief. After the loss of a loved one, you may discover yourself experiencing an array of unpredictable and unfamiliar emotions. These may include such feelings as numbness, denial, disbelief, anger, sadness, and fear. Although these may feel strange, they simultaneously are normal. Grief can be difficult to understand at times and it often takes us time in which to process the experience. Again though, people will grieve in their own way and in their own time. An oncology social worker can offer a safe space for you to talk about your loss and grieving process.
Validate your feelings. After experiencing the death of a loved one, you may find yourself isolated from family and friends. You may feel at times that other people do not understand the feelings and emotions you are experiencing. Although this is common, it is important nonetheless, that we talk about our grief and find someone who will listen to our story. Counseling can provide a safe space for you to process these emotions. In speaking to someone who understands what you are experiencing, we will feel less alone. Oncology social workers can help you connect with others and build a social network that is supportive and affirming of your experience.
Help you find a way to cherish your memories. Whether you experienced the death of a parent, partner, or a friend to cancer, we all hold memories of that person. Grief though can feel so overwhelming that we sometimes fear that we may forget or loose these memories of our loved one. In talking about our grief and processing these feelings however, we can begin the journey of remembrance. Counseling can help you recall the positive times you shared with your loved one. Creating a legacy for our loved one’s life can help us heal.
Help you focus on self-care. It is important to take care of yourself while you are grieving. This means identifying what your personal needs are at this time and taking the necessary steps in order to meet them. Engage in activities that are nurturing and offer you a feeling of peace and calm. When we remain mindful of the need for self-care, our ability to cope with grief and heal is strengthened. An oncology social worker can help you prioritize your needs and offer suggestions and tips for self-care that are good for you.
Offer tools and resources to help you. Oncology social workers can provide you with tools and resources that may foster your ability to cope with grief. This can include referral to financial and legal resources surrounding the death of a loved one. Individual counseling can help you process your feelings and take the next steps toward healing. An oncology social worker can also help you find ways to cherish the memory of your loved one.
Edited by Glenn Meuche, MSW, LCSW