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Grieving well takes a village, or at least a team

"Thanks to other people, I’ll make it. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team of brave hearts to help someone survive the loss of a child," Marge shared.

Marge's daughter Cassandra was her middle child. She grew up feminine and frilly, with a large dose of spunk under the surface. She married her high school sweetheart and had two girls of her own. 

Things went well until cancer struck. The disease process was hard on Cassandra's marriage and family. Her decline was excruciating to watch. She died peacefully in her sleep. She was 38.

"Cancer took my girl's life, but it couldn’t steal her heart," Marge said. "This is the hardest thing I've ever been through. I'm glad I’m not alone.” 

 

A varied support system is helpful

None of us are designed to go through grief alone. We need each other. All of us need a support system of the right people. Everyone can benefit from having a good Recovery Team.

people make all the difference in our grief process, one way or another. It's healthy and healing to get around people who are helpful to us in our grief process and limit our exposure to those who aren't. Having a good support system can make this a little easier. 

Safe people

We all need safe people in our lives. We need people who will accept us where we are and walk with us through this wilderness. We need people with whom we can share our hearts.

Physician

We need a medical doctor we respect and trust. Since grief pounds us physically, most likely some weird symptoms or health concerns will pop up. Having someone in our corner who can help distinguish what needs to be addressed and how can be a relief and a comfort.  

Grief professional

The emotional impact of this loss can be devastating. Having a grief counselor or mental health professional we can touch base with is key. We can benefit greatly from the training, experience, and expertise of a specialist who serves people in situations like ours. 

Spiritual mentor

Our faith and spiritual life is also impacted. Having a spiritual mentor available during this time is a huge asset. Whether a minister, pastoral counselor, or someone of deep faith experienced in these matters, they can provide comfort and perspective at a time when we desperately need both. 

Fellow grievers

We also need to rub shoulders with people who know grief. We usually find these people in support groups. Some of them, however, find us first. 

We need different voices at different times. We need different expertise for difficult and complicated issues. We might not contact some of them very much - maybe even not at all - but knowing that they're there and available is huge. 

Some have a good support system in place. Others have to build one. We are all in unique situations. We start where we are and move forward, one small step at a time. 

Having a varied support system in place can help us with the myriad of changes and adjustments that are taking place. A Recovery Team is one more way we can take our hearts seriously and honor the memory of our loved one. 

"I need a good recovery team. Having good people near me

makes a big difference."

 

 

Adapted from the new bestseller, Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child. Watch the Shattered videos here: Gary, Michelle.

 

 

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About the Author

Gary Roe is an author, speaker, and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley. He is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child, Please Be Patient, I'm Grieving, HEARTBROKEN: Healing from the Loss of a Spouse, and Surviving the Holidays without You and the co-author (with New York Times Bestseller Cecil Murphey) of Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One. Visit him at www.garyroe.com.

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