August 30 commemorates National Grief Awareness Day. This important day is designed to help us understand that grief is different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way to deal with grief. Grief, in whatever form, means that there is a void in your life. Whatever time it takes to put closure on that loss belongs to each person.
In addition to its design to help us understand grief itself, the goal of National Grief Awareness Day is also to remember and support those who struggle with the pain of grief. Maybe this is the time to reach out to an old friend who has suffered some loss and just let them know you are thinking of them. Lend an ear and let them know that they are not alone.
Remember that grief is not just about death. It can be any event; truly ANY event. It can be a trauma, a change in status (job, marriage, etc.) or any change that makes us feel like a loss has occurred.
Sometimes grief can literally unravel you. It may happen quickly or over time, but you may see some signs of grief in yourself or others. That may look like isolation, looking less kempt, missing work or school, being short with people, or becoming increasingly disorganized. Obviously this is not a comprehensive list, because we are all very different, so know that any behavior that seems unusual for a person, combined with a recent loss may indeed be grief-triggered behavior. There should be no judgment or shame. The “behavioral-unravelling” that may occur cannot be helped. It may be time to seek help when self-care, both mental and physical seems out of reach.
National Grief Awareness Day was founded by Angie Cartwright in 2014. She knew grief first-hand and used her grief to reach out to others who need support and understanding of what to expect during the process of grief. She wanted to make sure that in grief there was acceptance without judgment and that everyone had a chance to deal with grief in their own way, so that they could find themselves on the other side of grief, much more stable, both mentally and physically, than when the process began.
If you feel broken in grief and cannot seem to find your way to health, consider calling Silver Oaks Behavioral Health Hospital at (844) 580-5000. Experts in mental health will help you determine a level of care that is right for you. There is always hope, especially when you reach out for help. Please call.