Grief

Coping With Sudden Loss

Not a day goes by when we are not inundated with stories of shootings, accidents, senseless acts of violence or natural disasters. When these events happen, we might feel shock or sadness, yet we strive to protect ourselves by keeping the tragedies at arm’s length. But how do we handle an unexpected or sudden loss in our own lives? 

Read more

Grief and the Family: Finding Balance After Loss

BY ELIZABETH COHEN, LCSW, FT, MANAGER, ILLNESS, LOSS AND SPIRITUAL SUPPORT AT JCFS CHICAGO, BEREAVEMENT SPECIALIST

Few things impact a family more than the death of one of its members. For many families, the loss of a loved one can lead to a heightening of old conflicts creating stress and strife. At a time of deep pain, family members often feel they cannot turn to each other for solace. But, it is also possible for families to grow together through the experience of loss.

Read more

Dealing with Grief & Loss

BY ROSALIE GREENBERGER, LCSW JCFS CHICAGO

When a loved one dies, the effects of loss are as varied as our loved ones. Our feelings of grief are influenced by our relationship with the deceased, the circumstances of death and the timing of the death. At times, grief is manageable. We may be sorry that our loved one has died and feel sadness, but overall, the death will not have a large impact on our lives going forward.

Read more

Grief and the Family: Finding Balance after Loss

by Elizabeth Cohen, LCSW, FT, Manager, Illness, Loss and Spiritual Support at JCFS Chicago
Bereavement Specialist

Few things impact a family more than the death of one of its members. For many families, the loss of a loved one can lead to a heightening of old conflicts creating stress and strife.  At a time of deep pain, family members often feel they cannot turn to each other for solace. But, it is also possible for families to grow together through the experience of loss.

Read more

The Road to Healing—During and After Divorce

by Tami Sollo LCSW, Coordinator of the Divorce Specialty Center

I encounter many couples experiencing the early phases of divorce. Marked by the tearing down of comfortable routines, fear of the future and its unknowns, and sadness over the loss of a familiar way of life—no matter how unhappy it may have been—the early stages of divorce are chaotic and emotionally overwhelming. Like any time of grief or great loss, recovering from divorce is a process. How quickly couples move towards healing depends upon several factors:  how well spouses work together to co-parent or make decisions for their separate futures; the level of conflict between the couple; the couple’s financial situation; how well developed the couple’s psychological coping skills are; and the external support systems of the soon-to-be ex-spouses.  

Read more

Help, Healing and Hope After Loss - “How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies”

by Elizabeth Siegel Cohen, LCSW
Coordinator, illness, loss and spiritual support at JCFS Chicago
Bereavement Specialist

I recently read a letter published in the Washington Post by a young widowed father of two named David Creekmore. The letter was written to his deceased wife, Trish, who died three years ago.  Towards the end of this deeply moving letter David wrote “Life’s too short.  I had to lose you to really understand that. You are not forgotten. We move on because we have to, not because we want to.” These words really resonated with me because they speak so powerfully about how the experience of loss can forever change our focus and priorities in life.

Read more

An Empty Chair at the Seder

by Rabbi Joe Ozarowski, D.Min., BCC
Rabbinic Counselor and Chaplain, JCFS Chicago

The Hebrew word “Seder” means order. The Seder evening and Hagada have a framework—a time for talking, a time for ritual foods, a time for dinner, a time for praising God, a time for singing, a time for engaging children, a time for questions and a time to think about possible answers. But the order of the Seder also refers to the non-ritual aspects of the evening. We often have a routine of who comes, who we might invite, where we sit, how we arrange the table, and more. These things can change from year to year, yet they are always present in some form. But what happens when the order is upended? What challenges the sense of order when a loved one who has been a part of our sacred evening is no longer with us. Where is the “seder”—the order—when the Seder has been changed, the order ripped away from us?

Read more

Helping Teenagers Cope With Grief After Tragedy and Loss

by Robin Stein, Director, Response for Teens at JCFS Chicago

As a therapist who has worked with teens almost exclusively for over 30 years, I can’t help but imagine what it must be like to be a teenager in 2015. With so many young lives cut short today due to violence, bullying and suicide—dealing with the fear, the sense of loss, the uncertainty.  Grief work with adolescents is so incredibly important.  Often, parents immediately react by telling their child they must be in counseling – they just know their child must be depressed and at risk of imploding. 

Read more

Responding to Grief, Loss, and Mourning in Loved Ones

We have all been there.    A family member, friend or close work colleague experiences the death of a loved one.  Now what? What do we say or do?  We may attend the funeral or Shiva and assume we have done our part in being a support, but the mourning process takes longer than most people think.  We may feel overwhelmed with our own feelings and be confused with what to do.  How can we be there for someone who is bereaved?  Although the grief and mourning process is unique to each individual, there are some ways you can be of help.  

Read more