Lara Krawchuk: Grieving for Dad

Dr. Gloria Horsley discusses grieving for dad with Lara Krawchuk, a clinical social worker in Pennsylvania. She lost her father, paternal grandmother, and was handling becoming a new mother all at once. As a specialist in oncology therapy and an adjunct professor in the grief and loss field, Krawchuk is a strong believer in discovering meaning in grief. She points out that her father died too young and simply at the wrong time. Having two children is difficult enough without losing a grandparent, but she realized she saw hope in her children’s faces every day. Today, she knows her father remains in their hearts and she has a continuing bond with him.

Her professional specialty supports those who are facing a terminal illness, grief and loss. Krawchuk operates a continuing education program and self-care retreats aimed at professionals. Plus, she’s also segued into the role of caregiver. While Krawchuk has been in social work for two decades, that didn’t make her father’s leukemia diagnosis any easier. He survived a bone marrow transplant shortly after her first son was born, but died right before her second child arrived. Krawchuk says his life and teachings live on in her work today.

Advice for Grievers

Krawchuk says finding a support group is the best thing you can do when facing a loss. Tell your story as many times as necessary, and find an environment that encourages you to share. Seek out connections and find places where you’re comfortable. You can also maintain connections with the person who died, whether with rituals or simply by engaging in their favorite activities.

Using art or movement therapy can be a great help, but also remember to just be kind to yourself. Strength isn’t a requirement, and realize that this is a lifelong journey.

Gloria Horsley

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Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, "Healing the Grieving Heart," which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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