Sheryl Isaacs is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is currently working in Scotts Valley seeing clients in private practice.
Sheryl has worked with families and children that have experienced a wide range of issues including: anxiety, trauma, depression, autism, ADHD, developmental issues, behavioral issues, divorce,
bulimia, grief, communication and self esteem issues.
She provides parental coaching, child therapy, sibling counseling, family therapy, marriage counseling, and individual counseling.
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Grief is a process. The definition of grief is keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. Many times we look for the day we "get over" the loss. We never truly do. Some days are better than others, but other days take us back to that loss. Milestones in life can also be extremely difficult: graduations, births, holidays, birthdays, death anniversaries. Today the type of day and time of year takes me back.
It is days like today that remind me of my Dad. On raining days he would stay home from work. He was a bricklayer by trade and rarely could work in the rain. He also was battling cancer at this time of year. I took off work and we began homeschooling to care for him. Some days just take you back...the smell of the rain soaked ground...looking at the wet earth...feeling the dampness on your skin. Milestones in life can also be extremely difficult: graduations, births, holidays, birthdays, death anniversaries.
The best we can do is honor those feelings of loss. Let ourselves delve into the sadness. Recognize that we will have days that "bring it back." That is normal. Honor those thoughts and feelings. The sadness will pass if we allow ourselves to move through it.
Many times we will do everything BUT allow those feelings. There are uncomfortable. We distract, rationalize and stay busy to stop the feelings. This is not helpful. Those bottled up feelings very easily turn into health issues like high blood pressure, autoimmune issues, headaches, joint pain and more! If we can "sit in" the feelings and allow them to pass we can be successful in not turning the feelings inward and wreaking havoc on our bodies/minds.
Collaging can be very helpful to help you move through the sadness. It is less intense than journalling but very effective. Setting the collage aside to process another day will deepen the experience. Talk to others about your sadness. Remember your loved one. I have found any type of creative outlet helps in dissipating the grief and honoring it. You can paint, draw, write a song or a poem to honor your lost loved one. This blog for me is grief work :) It honors the memory of my father and allows me to be "get out of myself" and share with others.
Don't be afraid of the grief you experience. Embrace it. Move through it. Don't get stuck there. It is more difficult to be stuck in grief than to feel your feelings.
If you are unable to process with a friend or family member Hospice of Santa Cruz has free grief counseling.
Free camp for kids that experienced the death of someone close to them.