Highlights from Grief Loss Seminar

Marie Milleage

The Oxford Dictionary defines “grief” as “intense suffering,” and “loss” as “the feeling of grief after losing someone or something of value.” Merriam-Webster describes “grief” as “a cause of much suffering” and “an unfortunate outcome,” and “loss” as “a person or thing or an amount that is lost.”

In an informal and relaxed setting on February 8, Kirsten Kaae, nurse, professional counselor and author, presented a seminar concerning the management of grief, loss and its complications as related to the loss of a loved one, friend, health, pet, job, or something else of value. Residents in attendance relayed expressions of grief and loss in different ways that affected each person. A lengthy discussion ensued about emotions, grief and the significance of loss to the aging population.

Kirsten explained that grieving is individual and unique to each person, there being no right or wrong way to grieve. The grieving process can vary over a period of time for different people; it may happen gradually or take weeks, months or years.

The loss of a loved one or something that is substantial is an extremely difficult experience that sometimes causes very intense and painful emotions. Some individuals go through various stages of loss namely, anger, guilt, denial and others reactions. Although some do not experience these emotions, many feel isolated or abandoned and in need of others to offer support and comfort. Several ways to cope with loss were communicated essentially: acknowledging your feelings, taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, seeking support from professionals, or being around people who can be comforting.

What do you say to someone who has suffered a loss and is grieving? How do you offer support? Kirsten discussed ways to respond to these concerns. It may be difficult to know what to say or do when someone is grieving. Do not avoid reaching out to the aggrieved person. Be there to listen, offer a shoulder to cry on, offer to help with a chore or activity, or be understanding and sympathetic. Just be there.

After two hours and as time ran out for the seminar, Kirsten mentioned additional insight about grief, loss and related topics in her book, It is About Time: Straight Talk About Aging and End of Life.

DATCU credit union provided seminar refreshments and door prizes. Living Well seminars are free and open to Robson Ranch residents with advance registration. For more information please contact Marie Milleage at milleagem@mygrande.net or view the website at www.rrlwc.com.

All content within presentations sponsored by the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee is intended for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a professional health care provider. Neither the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee, Robson Ranch Denton HOA, nor Robson Communities is responsible or liable for the content and do not endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in any presentation.