What do I do, and how do I know that I am moving towards finding healing for myself after my loss?
You must first remember that you are unique and that means that your journey of grief will be different from any one else. At times you will feel like you are riding a roller coaster. However, it will help knowing the six central needs that you have as a bereaved person. These needs have been defined by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, the Founder and Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition, as the following:
- To experience and express outside of yourself the reality of the death.
- To tolerate the pain that comes with the work of grief while taking good care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- To convert your relationship with the person who died from one of presence to memory.
- To develop a new self-identity based on a life without the person in your life who died.
- To relate the experience of our loss to a content of meaning.
- To have an understanding support system available to you in the months and years ahead.
I believe that as you come to a place of understanding these needs and being able to work through them in however much time you need, you will heal and find hope and a future for yourself.