The loss of someone significant can be difficult to navigate. Grief is universal, but how each person copes is individual. Having support allows one to better navigate the grief journey by increasing self-awareness, learn tools to cope, and heal.

 

Ellaine has spent the past 15 years of her career providing grief support to individuals, families, and groups. She has presented nationally on grief and the bereavement process.

 

Areas of specialty include: Bereavement, Caregiver strain, Pregnancy/Infant Loss, Suicide

 

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Individual Sessions and Support Groups available  for :


 

Loss of a Spouse

 

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Loss of Parent

 

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Loss of Adult Child

 

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss

 

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Pet Loss

 

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Visual Journaling – When Words Are Not Enough

 

 

For additional details call Ellaine at: (561)371-9966

 

 

 


Grief - What is it and What do I do with it?

 

Coping with the loss of a close friend or family member may be one of the hardest challenges that many of us face. When we lose a spouse, sibling or parent our grief can be particularly intense. Loss is understood as a natural part of life, but we can still be overcome by shock and confusion, leading to prolonged periods of sadness or depression. The sadness typically diminishes in intensity as time passes, but grieving is an important process in order to overcome these feelings and continue to embrace the time you had with your loved one.

 

 

Everyone reacts differently to death and employs personal coping mechanisms for grief. Research shows that most people can recover from loss on their own through the passage of time if they have social support and healthy habits.

 

 

It may take months or a year to come to terms with a loss. There is no “normal” time period for someone to grieve. Don’t expect to pass through phases of grief either, most people do not go through stages as progressive steps.

 

If your relationship with the deceased was difficult, this will also add another dimension to the grieving process. It may take some time and thought before you are able to look back on the relationship and adjust to the loss. Give yourself that time.

 

 

 

 

COMPLICATED GRIEF

 

The experience of grief is not something a person ever recovers from completely. However, time typically tempers its intensity.

 

 

Again, the length of time it takes for a person to grieve is highly variable and dependent on context. It does not reflect a person’s resiliency. But when symptoms persist without improvement for an extended period, they may qualify as complicated grief. In addition, the symptoms of complicated grief are generally more severe.

 

Complicated grief often dominates a person’s life, interfering with their daily functioning.

 

If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by your emotions, it may be helpful to talk with a mental health professional who is a grief specialist. They can provide support, and coping strategies to help you manage your feelings more effectively, and navigate the grief journey.

 

 

 

SOME STRATEGIES TO HELP COME TO TERMS WITH LOSS:
 

 

  • Talk about the death of your loved one with friends and colleagues in order to understand what happened and remember your friend or family member.

 

  • Accept your feelings. People experience all kinds of emotions after the death of someone close. Sadness, anger, frustration and even exhaustion are all normal.

 

  • Take care of yourself and your family. Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of rest help us get through each day and move forward.

 

  • Reach out and help others dealing with the loss. Helping others has the added benefit of making you feel better as well. Sharing stories of the deceased can help everyone cope.

 

  • Reach out and accept from help others in dealing with your loss. You deserve support. Whether individually or in support groups, you do not have to walk this journey alone. Attending support groups with others, who have experienced the same loss, can be a way of making connections and experiencing a lessening of the feelings of isolation that can come after loss.

 

  • Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. Possibilities include donating to a favorite charity of the deceased, framing photos of fun times, passing on a family name to a baby or planting a garden in memory. What you choose is up to you, as long as it allows you honor that unique relationship in a way that feels right to you.

 

 

 

 

VISUAL JOURNALING - WHEN WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH

 

Often when we are experiencing deep emotions, there are no words that can convey the intensity of what we are feeling. This can be overwhelming. The visual journaling process can provide a safe container and effective way to identify, express, and manage your emotions.

 

There are many ways to utilize the visual journaling process. You can keep your journal with you and create spontaneous responses as you go through your day. You could create a daily practice - set up a time each day to tune in and reflect how you are feeling. It may be a drawing, collage, or combination. There’s no way to do visual journaling wrong! It is your journal and your process!

 

Visual Journaling is a highly effective tool that can provide support when navigating challenging times. It is a practice you can do individually or as a group experience. Participating in a group experience can allow for additional insights and opportunities to give and receive support.

 

 

 

"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings
where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."

Eskimo legend

 

 

 

For further information you can contact me at:


V. Ellaine Peck, MAET, ATR
Registered Art Therapist
Grief Specialist
Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

(561)371-9966
ellaine@thewholeselfctr.com
www.thewholeselfctr.com