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  • Vicarious grief reactions are common when we learn of the tragic losses that occur each day in the world. The closer the loss is to us, the more likely we are to experience an emotional reaction that may touch on and surface our own grief experiences. Feelings of vulnerability may lead to expression of sadness and/or anger. We are deeply saddened by the recent loss of two members of the Trent University Community and may be left with many unanswered questions that stir unresolved emotions.
  • We may feel any combination of emotions including feeling anxious, fearful, guilty, ambivalent, angry, frustrated, or even numbness.
  • Each one of us has an individual style of coping with painful events and memories. The list below may help you in managing your grief feelings
    • Talk to family & friends
    • Read poetry or books
    • Exercise
    • Seek spiritual support
    • Be patient with yourself
    • Take time to relax
    • Engage in social activities
    • Listen to music
    • Seek counselling
    • Journal your emotions
  • How can you support others who are grieving ?
    • Be a good listener
    • Just sit with them
    • Ask about their feelings
    • Share your feelings
    • Acknowledge the pain
    • Remember the loss
    • Be available when you can
  • How can therapy help? A therapist can help you understand the grieving process by providing information and support. He or she can provide a place for you to grieve fully and naturally, and help you move through your grief and to find continued meaning in life.
  • Resources
  • Trent University Counselling Centre (748-1386)
  • David French, Chaplain, ext. 1551
  • EAP for staff and faculty
  • Hospice Peterborough (705-742-4042)
  • When Bad Things Happen to Good People (H.S. Kushner, 1981)

Evolving Landscapes of Autumn

Autumn is a season in process. Nature is unfinished.
Faced with a tableau of changing colors, scurried by a bewilderment of
movements, what we see today is gone tomorrow.
We know what is going to eventually occur,
But never quite sure of when or how.
The barrel of fresh apples is not quite full, the work not yet completed.
Leaves hang on wind-strewn branches not wanting to let go,
neither do I.
Like autumn, I am surrounded by the inconsistencies
of sadness and joy, despair and hope, hate and love.
This leave-taking and separation
is marked with pain of autumn's ultimate end.
Like leaves blowing in the wind, I feel uprooted and unsettled.
I am tired and fatigued.
Dreary and wind-chilled days "drag me down".
I am obsessed about my loss. Fears control my thoughts.
Wanting to let go to find peace,
I don't feel whole.

Joseph Robert Pfeiffer (2004)

Posted September 7, 2004

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