The loss of a loved one due to death, a divorce, a layoff – the grief that often accompanies all of these unpleasant events seems to compound itself during the holidays. However, there is hope for improving how we cope with loss, as Dr. Pamela Taylor of New Hope Counseling Center was able to attest when I interviewed her on the second episode of my new talk show Relationships360, which airs Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. on Time Warner cable channels 17 and 18 in the Kansas City metropolitan area. You can also watch a clip of the show here by clicking the play button or show title below.
Aren’t the designer duds I’m wearing fab? You can buy the entire outfit including accessories or something just as fabulous at Denim Couture in Overland Park, Kansas or visit them online at www.denimcouturekc.com. The owners Paul and Julie definitely have great taste. If you get a chance to buy some of their stuff, promise me you’ll let me know about it by dropping me a line or two in the comments section. Mention this blog the next time you drop by the boutique and get 15% off your purchase, print out the ad on the Blog Supporters page and take it to the store or use the online code REL360 at the checkout on their website. Hurry, this deal expires December 31st!
Okay, back to the subject at hand – grief and a sista who has dealt with it effectively many times over and is helping other people do it. Toward the end of the show, Dr. Taylor was asked if she had any inspirational stories about coping with grief to share with the audience. She explained that she like myself, has overcome divorce, and while in college delayed grieving for her late father for years. The inspiring words she provided to the audience about the delayed grieving of her father’s passing was that people’s grief looks different. Some people grieve immediately while some people take longer depending on their personality, the support systems they have in place and other external factors such as dealing with the challenges of going to school and dealing with multiple losses like a divorce and job loss simultaneously. The speed and ease to which we all grieve is relative to the person and you don’t have to be ashamed if you’re not dating as quickly as others think you should after a divorce or if you’re not employed right away after a lay off.
Likewise, if one feels that they are stuck in one of the stages of the grief cycle, as Dr. Taylor explained, there is hope for getting out of the rut through counseling, which equips people with the tools they need not only to get them through the grief cycle faster but to keep them from falling back into any one phase for a prolonged period of time adversely impacting their ability to function on a daily basis. The terminally ill who are near death, children, widows, the demoted – there is hope for all of us who have experienced loss. All one has to do is take advantage of the coping tools at their disposal.
If one cannot afford paid counseling services, then he or she can certainly get involved in a free support group like I did after my divorce. I am including a link to www.divorcecare.com for those of you who may be facing divorce or are recently divorced and would like to find a group of people in your town like you who can provide you with the strength you need to make your recovery a little bit easier. If you’re not ready to be around people just yet or are not too keen on group therapy, you can simply order the Divorce Care workbook and video. I found both tools to be very beneficial in helping me understand that divorce is not the end of the world and that one can live a happy, fulfilling life once the divorce gavel drops.
For readers who are suffering from other types of grief, such as loss of a child via illness, tragic accident or a miscarriage (which I have also experienced), I have included several links which I hope will help you cope better. Please be sure to let me know if you found the resources on this site beneficial as well as suggest other tools that you feel would help others who are struggling with grief. That is what good relationships are all about – picking each other up when one of us is down.