Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with Susan Rice, fellow RN, at the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference. Rice works at a center that serves people facing a loss, the Douglas Center for Hope and Healing in Nevada. Rice also works with her daughter, Jodi Wass, similar to Dr. Horlsey. She lost her son, Joshua, three years ago when he was only 37. When grief hits home, it’s entirely different than working with it on a professional level. It can lead to career burnout and plenty of surprises. Stopping and taking a deep breath is key.
There are stages of grief you can’t rush through. They don’t end after a service, or when your friends drift away. It can take a long time to process anger and shock. Having a support center is critical, especially for healthcare workers like Rice who might feel like they “should” be able to handle it. Unfortunately, many professionals like Rice feel wary of reaching out since they’ve seen many aspects of the other side. However, a person in grief is still just a person in grief.
Reclaiming Your Grief Process
Look for available resources, and know that you’ll benefit. Doing so gives you the avenue to help other people if you work in the grief field. You may need to look outside your known network, as anonymity is important to many bereaved. Consider online support such as The Open to Hope Foundation, a new local support group that you haven’t connected with before, or working with a professional.
There’s not one right or best way to heal, although it can seem that way to grief professionals. Shouldn’t you know what to do? Not necessarily, and thinking along this vein can be dangerous. Instead, focus on identifying your own best support.