It is natural for those grieving to dread certain events such as holidays, anniversaries and birthdays. Grieving often begins in anticipation of the event, and such grief is expected and accepted. However, the bereaved may be taken by surprise at grief “ambushes,” which are usually unexpected and elicit significant emotional responses.
Hearing a loved one’s favorite song on the radio, finding an old photograph or note from a loved one, or walking by a loved one’s favorite food in the grocery aisle can trigger these ambushes.
The healthiest way to handle grief ambushes is to accept them as part of the normal grieving process. Grievers often feel they are doing well until they experience these sudden, intense grief responses. Then, they often judge themselves to have “gone backward” in their grieving process.
Understanding these episodes to be a normal part of grieving can take the fear out of the experience. When this happens, allow yourself to feel and express the emotions. Keep pressing forward in your grief journey.
Pathways of HopeSM Grief Counseling Centers
Ohio’s Hospice offers grief and bereavement support through our Pathways of HopeSM Grief Counseling Centers, which provide a variety of services to the communities we serve. Support and education are provided by a team of counselors and social workers, all with significant experience and expertise in assisting grieving children, adolescents and adults.
For more information about Pathways of Hope, click here.