Handling Depression During Grieving Period

Circle of Life Hospice in Chariton, IA realizes the grief we experience after losing someone close to us is one of the most difficult times of our life.  The Circle of Life Hospice Chaplain and staff are always available to talk to you after your loss.  Part of the great services provided by Circle of Life Hospice also includes bereavement follow up to the family of our patients for a minimum of one year.  When we come across articles or items we find informative or helpful we like to pass them on.  Here is one such article written by Pat Gibson and courtesy of seniorslist.com.  Pat lost her husband and shares her feelings on how she came to grips with her grief and realized she was starting to face depression.  Here is her short story:


It has almost been a year since my significant other, my soul mate, my better half, or any other endearing term I can use to describe my spouse, has passed away. He is gone forever and I am as alone now as I was last December when he died. I suffer from feelings of despair and emptiness. I have lost my zest for living and no one seems to understand. Everyone keeps saying my feelings will be different in time. But how long will it take? I feel so confused and depressed because the one I loved and cherished is gone.

Last weekend, my wise intelligent wanna -be doctor sister pulled me aside with some earth-shaking advice I found helpful and thought I should share with others who might be experiencing some of these same feelings. She said I was suffering from mild depression and if I didn’t do something soon, it might evolve into a serious clinical depression that would require medication or worse, a trip to a hospital. What did I have to lose? She seemed sincere and was offering help.

The first thing she said was for me to acknowledge that I was depressed. She got me to describe my feelings and the hurt I was experiencing. By doing this, I was able to accept those feelings and accept my loss. Talking with her about my feelings relieved a lot of emotional and physical stress. I had been isolating myself from family and friends and I refused to acknowledge how I really felt. When I acknowledged my fears and anger for being left alone, I felt like I had taken medicine for my grief.

I recognized the negative feelings and beliefs that I was harboring, like I was worthless without my loved one or I couldn’t make it alone. I reached for higher spiritual strength to help me believe in myself. I began to recognize the things I have control over. Those things that I can’t control, I had to let go and put in God’s hand. The more I relied on the higher power, the more comfort and guidance I received.

The more educated I became about depression and feelings, the sooner my feelings changed to positive ones. I know I am not alone, so I decided to share my feelings with others through church groups, support groups, and blogs on the internet. This helped me create options for dealing with the fear, anger, guilt, and negative thoughts that surface when I am having a pity party.

Dealing with depression while grieving is not easy, but it can be done. I have begun my journey. You too, can join me by starting to recognize your feelings, believing in yourself, and making positive affirmations about yourself daily.