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Family 411 - Dealing with grief

Family 411 - Dealing with grief

Eight-million people were coping with the death of someone in their immediate family last year.

There were 800,000 new widows and widowers, according to the National Mental Health Association.

Siouxland News “Family 411” Reporter Lu Ann Stoia shows us the wide-ranging response to loss.

Marie Trudeau’s partner died about a year ago from cancer.

An insurance agent, Marie knows there are no guarantees about our health or how long we will live.

“I thought for a while, though, that losing him was tearing my heart out,” said Trudeau. “But watching him in pain was tearing my guts out.”

Trudeau says she’s enrolled in classes and had counseling to deal with her grief.

She made a coliseum in art therapy after she had a dream about it.

“I made the armor that he was wearing,” said Trudeau.

For Trudeau’s family and others, a special inpatient 24-7 hospice center offers compassionate care and support.

“Grief is a thief, it took my concentration, my memory, my energy,” said Trudeau.

While you might have heard of the stages of grief, counselors say how we handle it is varied and personal.

“Everyone is different,” said Brent Simonds, a grief counselor. “Everybody goes through different grieving symptoms.”

Creating a memory book is one way Trudeau coped with her loss.

“Telling your story is one of the most important things you can do,” said Simonds.

Counselors say there’s no time limit, either.

“Any” time is a good time to get help with grief, because you DO need to deal with it.

“It comes out in some other way,” said Simonds. “It might be inability to function at work, inability to function with others, frustration.”

Counselors says it’s extra important for grieving people to eat healthy meals and get sleep.

“Just reach out and ask for help and take care of yourself,” said Simonds. “Be gentle with yourself.”

Counselors say, if you are grieving, it’s a good idea to do at least once nice thing for yourself every day.

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