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United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia

On the Eleventh Day before Christmas My True Love (or at least my state President) had to Say:

Posted over 4 years ago by James F. Lawrence

On the Eleventh Day before Christmas My True Love (or at least my state President) had to Say:

During the holiday season, stress and nerves surrounding grief can be heightened. In order to cope with these stressors, please keep the following in mind about grief:

Every person must grieve in their own way.

Grief is seen as a process. It is long-lasting and does not follow a fixed pattern.

Grief has also been termed "work." A person must "work-through" their own grief. Anyone who has been through grief knows that it is indeed "work."

Grief hurts. When we refer to the pain of grief, that pain is very real.

Grief is a hurt. Just as one must heal from a physical wound, one must also heal from the emotional and psychological wound known as grief.

Grief can become physical. Many real physical diseases and conditions can be traced to grief as a cause.

One author compares grief to peeling an onion. "It comes in layers, and you cry a lot."

Grief is very personal. Everyone must heal in their own way in their own time. There is no magical point on the calendar when grief is over.


While everyone's reaction to loss is different, consider the following:

Accept advice with caution. Everyone will have advice for you. Someone will say, "Don't try to run away from the death by taking a trip, it won't help." Someone else will advise you to "Get away for a few weeks." Accept it as an honest attempt at caring, but do what you feel is right for you. There are few if any "rights" and "wrongs" when it comes to grieving.

Accept your emotions. You may feel all of the emotions previously mentioned– panic, guilt, anger, etc. and many others. These are normal reactions to death. Forgive others. Many will say, "Call me if I can do anything." And then they quickly go about their business like nothing has happened. They leave you alone to your grief. Life has returned to normal for them much quicker than it has for you.

Accept platitudes as sincere but misguided expressions of sympathy. "I know how you feel." is a lie of course. No one knows how you feel. You want to scream that this is not God's will. He or she is not better off. And if just one more person tells you can have nother child after you just lost this one, you will choke them.

Express your emotions. While many of your friends may feel uncomfortable around you when you want to talk about the death, the deceased, or your feelings, feel free to do so anyway.

Find a good friend that will listen. If necessary, talk to your pastor, priest or other religious person, your doctor, your funeral director, or a professional counselor.

Cry. Tears are said to be the "pressure release valve of the soul." Screaming is okay too. Punch a pillow. Emotions kept inside are a poison. Grieve in your own way. Don't allow others to tell you what you should feel or discourage you from expressing it.

Avoid alcohol and drugs. Neither will speed the process or ease the pain.

Watch your diet. Stay healthy by eating healthy, even when you don't feel like it.

Get your rest. Do things. Even routine chores will help get your life started again, as it must. Get out. Take a walk. Go to a movie. Laugh.

Be prepared for set-backs. Just when you think you might be making headway, you will suddenly break down crying. Its okay. Its normal.The only "cure" for grief is time. Grief can last for 1-2 years or more. Don't expect to be "over it" in 3 months, six months or a year, just because someone thinks you should be.

Seek out others. Support groups are available for those suffering a loss. Groups are also available for those suffering a particular type of loss such as the loss of a child, death by suicide, etc. No one knows exactly how you feel, but others are going through some of the same things you are. They can be of great comfort and support.

Please access the state UAPRN of Georgia's website everyday leading up to Christmas as your state officers will be sharing points of interests throughout the holiday season. 

Happy Holidays to all of our members and also to those who follow this website but have yet to join our great organization. Let us strive to make 2014 an even better years for UAPRN of Georgia !!!

James F. Lawrence, Ph.D. CHPN APRN BC FAANP CPS

State President