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Grief Unveiled

Navigating Loss, Healing, and Hope

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and the Behavioral Health Director for One Health
PJ Hill

Grief is a universal experience, impacting everyone at some point in their lives. In this discussion, Adam Renshaw, the host of the One in Five podcast, engages in a deep conversation with PJ Hill, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and the Behavioral Health Director for One Health, to explore the complexities of grief and strategies for coping with loss.

Exploring the Essence of Grief

Grief: statue in cementary

Grief, the emotion experienced when dealing with loss, is a natural part of life. PJ Hill emphasizes the importance of understanding grief and its variations, including mourning and bereavement. The conversation moves on to delve into distinct types of grief, such as anticipatory grief, disenfranchised grief, and complicated grief.

Anticipatory Grief: This type of grief is experienced when one anticipates an upcoming loss, such as a terminal diagnosis or major life changes like a divorce or children leaving for college.

Disenfranchised Grief: Often overlooked, this type of grief is associated with societal norms that hinder individuals from openly mourning certain losses, such as miscarriages, deaths of pets, or suicide.

Complicated Grief: When distressing symptoms persist beyond the socially acceptable period, typically a year, individuals may be struggling with complicated grief, which requires professional support and coping strategies.

Seated older couple looking at ocean

Coping with Grief

The conversation pivots to coping mechanisms for dealing with grief. PJ Hill underscores the significance of self-care and healthy coping strategies to navigate the bereavement process effectively. Additionally, the discussion highlights the relevance of acknowledging one's grief, seeking support, and being patient with oneself during this vulnerable period.

Self-Care: Engaging in self-care practices, such as staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising, is vital for individuals dealing with grief.

Healthy Coping: Avoid making major life decisions during the initial period of grief and focus on healthy coping mechanisms to navigate the emotional turmoil effectively.

Honesty and Support: Being honest about one's emotions and seeking support from others are essential steps in the healing process.

Supporting Others in Grief

2 seated women with heads down

Understanding how to support individuals navigating grief is equally important. The discussion emphasizes the role of friends and family in providing ongoing support and companionship to those experiencing loss. Practical suggestions, such as offering assistance with daily tasks and setting reminders to stay connected with grieving individuals, are highlighted as valuable ways to provide support.

Practical Support: Practical acts of kindness, such as providing meals, assisting with chores, or offering childcare, can alleviate some of the burdens faced by grieving individuals.

Emotional Support: Creating spaces for open communication, reminiscing about the lost loved one, and being patient and present with those grieving can significantly impact their healing journey.

sad woman during holidays

Grief and the Holiday Season

The conversation concludes with insights on navigating grief during holidays and anniversaries, which can be particularly challenging for individuals dealing with loss. PJ Hill provides valuable guidance on setting boundaries, creating new traditions, and finding meaningful ways to honor and remember loved ones during these special times.


Creating New Traditions: Encouraging individuals to establish new traditions and rituals during holidays can foster a sense of connection and provide a healthy outlet for processing grief.

Volunteering and Self-Care: Engaging in volunteer work and prioritizing self-care during the holiday season can offer individuals a sense of purpose and alleviate some of the emotional distress associated with grief.

2 women packing food bags for community
2 hands holding a heart

In conclusion, the conversation provides valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of grief and offers practical strategies for both individuals dealing with loss and those seeking to support loved ones through the bereavement process. By understanding the complexities of grief and embracing healthy coping mechanisms, individuals can navigate the challenging terrain of loss with resilience and compassion.

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Follow the link below to listen to the full podcast:

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