On October 21st, I wrote here a bit about grief counseling, a process many of my clients whose family members or friends who lost someone in a wrongful death accident have undergone.
As a followup to that article, I interviewed a noted grief counselor, Carol Lee of Auburn, California who shared with me some of her insights from decades working in hospitals and in her private practice helping people with grief and bereavement.
Carol said the first task for people is to accept the reality of the loss. Many times people are in a daze and its difficult to accept that that person who meant so much to you is now gone.
A counselor may ask the client what happened and will try to understand he background and content of what the client is experiencing and feeling.
Secondly, a good counselor will listen and encourage the client to work thru the pain of grief. Sometimes people start opening up immediately but often it takes much time before people
can open up and talk about their losses. A counselor will validate the points that the patient emphasizes.
After the client has went some ways in exploring their grief, they next need to be encouraged to adjust to a world where the deceased is missing from their lives. Often, we depend so much on our lovcrs, loved ones and friends for support, practical advice, home repairs and much else. When confronted with a death, it takes time and a plan to make adjustment.
Ask the client, “What do you think is the best way to deal with this?”
Finally, the client must find a way to remember and have an enduring connection with the deceased while still embarking upon a new life without them.
The client should be affirmed for whatever they feel about the type of person they are and encouraged to find the strength to find some meaning in order to go on.
Grief is not linear and people may revisit these stages or tasks at different time and deal with them in a a different order.
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Wrongful Death attorney for over 30 years. If I can help you in this difficult time, please call me at 916-921-6400 in Sacramento or 800-404-5400 elsewhere.