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Grief Awareness Day: Coming out of the darkness and into the light

By Pam Washington

Grief Awareness Day: Coming out of the darkness and into the light

There seems to be a National Something Day for just about anything from pickles to pets. Most are recognized in good fun on social media. Others receive little acknowledgement, especially those focused on not so fun topics like grief.

According to the website, National Today, August 30 is Grief Awareness Day. It was founded in 2014 by Angie Cartwright, public speaker and activist, with the intention of raising awareness and educating our society on grief. You can learn about her journey by viewing the video below, and through her Grief Awareness Day Facebook page.

 

On Grief Awareness Day we are challenged to do three things:

1. Support a grieving friend

2. Practice self-care if you are grieving

3. Educate others through social media posts #NationalGriefAwarenessDay (see her Facebook posts for suggestions)

This link will take you to a BCTV limited series FOUND hosted by Pam Washington and Dominic Murgido. The inspiration for the show was the challenge to educate others about grief. The four episodes offer information for those who are grieving and for those who want to support someone who is grieving. The show is a platform for conversations about grief.

If you are someone who struggles to find the right words or actions to help a grieving loved one, friend, or coworker, an excellent resource is: www.speakinggrief.org. An online search will yield many results, but what’s most effective is to acknowledge their grief, show up, and listen.

Those of you who are grieving will also find a plethora of online resources. Dominic Mugido, cohost of FOUND, author and founder of sudSSpirit, a support group for the sudden unexpected loss of a spouse, publishes seasonal newsletters that highlight resources, articles and books about grief. They can be found on his website: www.dominicmurgido.com.

There are many misconceptions about grief. There is no timeline. Your grief is your own. It is easy to become isolated and disconnected because of our society’s aversion to grief. While it’s ok to not be ok, it’s also ok to ask for help from family, friends, a professional therapist or support groups. Some free, local support groups in addition to sudSSpirit include Grief Share,  St. Joseph’s Spiritual Care, and Clear Water Wellness. Support groups may not be for everyone, but know that there is help if needed. You are not alone.

Please reach out today to someone who is grieving. Something as simple as an “I’m thinking about you” text lets them know that they are not alone.