Death and Loss

When someone close to you dies, you may be overwhelmed with feelings of anger, hurt, sadness, and uncertainty. It is a painful and confusing time. The problem of what to say and how to talk about your feelings is one of the most difficult that you can face. You may be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.

When someone you care about dies, you may have lots of different feelings, many at the same time, including surprise, disbelief, anger, guilt, depression, and sadness. Each person reacts to death in his or her own way. Some cry, some get angry, some get quiet and go off by themselves and some act like nothing happened. How you grieve is a personal thing and does not measure how much you cared about the person, only how you handle or express your feelings.

Your feelings will go back and forth. Sometimes things around you like a smell, a song, a holiday, will trigger some feelings and memories.

It is important to talk about your feelings with family or a friend or someone you feel will listen to you. Sometimes it is hard to talk with someone about how you feel. By keeping these feelings inside and not expressing them, you could experience headaches, loss of appetite, mood swings, fear, loneliness, depression, and anger.

If you know someone who has lost a loved one, you may want to do something for the family and friends that the person left behind. The following are some suggestions of things that you can do.

  • Run an errand
  • Mow the lawn or take care of the garden
  • Feed a pet or walk the dog
  • Bring flowers
  • Help with household chores…laundry, vacuuming, dusting
  • Baby-sit the children or take a child for a walk
  • Wash the car
  • Listen if they want to talk

Remember that there are people out there who can help you as you struggle with the death of someone. Schools and religious organizations may have support groups to help you deal with the death of someone. Call the following for a list of support groups.

The following organizations will provide information and/or assistance (click on the agency's name for more information):

Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes
(315)789-2613 or (877)789-2613 toll free
Individual counseling, family counseling, play therapy, sexual abuse assessment and treatment, Hispanic youth groups.

Ontario County Mental Health Center
The center provides psychotherapy, group treatment, family treatment and case management for those with a treatable mental health diagnosis.

MISS Foundation
(315) 573-7431
MISS Foundation provides immediate and ongoing support to grieving families, empowerment through community volunteerism opportunities, public policy and legislative action, and programs to reduce infant and toddler death through research and education.

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