According to the most recent statistics available from the National Mental Health Association, in the U. S., eight million people suffered through the death of someone in their immediate family last year. That number does not include the extended family Relationships like in-laws, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, blended family or step-relationships and others. Research by the late Dr. Elizabeth Weller, Director of Ohio State University Hospitals, suggests that 1.2 million children will lose a parent to death before age 15.
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With so much pain and anguish due to the death of family, friends, co-workers and associates, there is no questioning that, eventually, grief will come knocking at your door. When grief comes to you, someone you care about, or those you are connected to, are you prepared to handle the pain, anguish and emotional pressure that often accompanies it? Are you positioned to help someone who may be suffering the pains of grief as a result of a loss?
After a significant loss, it is normal to grieve. For many the pain and loss seems too much to bear and impossible to heal. Believing that no one else in this world could possibly understand the grief and sense of loss you are facing is common. A long illness, the sudden death of a spouse, child, or parent, in addition to many other losses, can seem insurmountable. Even if you felt there was a slim chance you could be helped, you cannot imagine where you would begin the healing process. After all, the pain is so deep and constant, it hurts everywhere. Grief knows no boundaries of age, race, gender, education, social or economic status. However, you must move through the grieving process. Staying in a perpetual state of grief and sorrow will choke the very life out of you, if you allow it. So, where do you begin? If you could somehow begin, how long would it take? Will the pain ever end? You must tackle it head on. But how do you do that?
If you identify with these feelings, here is some good news: there is help, and there is hope. The purpose of this practical reference is to assist those who are suffering the pains of grief by answering many of your questions and help you work through your grief. There are countless others hurting from situations and circumstances just as painful as yours or the person you are assisting. Their true stories will remind you that you are not alone.
As you read through these pages, it is our hope that the words and practical applications will encourage you and help you heal from your loss and give you a sense of hope. Apply the principles outlined, utilize the self-help resources and you will move from sunless skies to brighter days ahead. Not only that, the day will come when you will be able to help someone else. If you are not the one grieving, this book will provide tools that can be utilized to help those who are struggling to release the sorrow of grief.
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