By now, most people are familiar with what PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is. For the longest time, I only heard it used to reference the trauma that a soldier faces in battle…the unimaginable loss and horrors of war, and all of the things that can’t be unseen.
But as I worked with more and more grievers I found their stories were filled with trauma from the loss of someone they loved. Some were the obvious traumas of sudden and devastating loss, but others followed long-term illness after witnessing the slow, sad, and painful decline of a loved one.
So while PTSD is rightfully designated to those who have been to war, so too should those who have lost a loved one be recognized as survivors of trauma. After all, what could be more traumatic than losing the people we love more than anything in the world?
It’s worth discussing in terms of validating and normalizing this response to loss: what are some of the ways people can be traumatized by the loss of a loved one, and what can be done to help?
Continue reading “Trauma & Grief: 5 Things That May Help”