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    Michael E. Holtby, LCSW, BCD

Grief & Bereavement Counseling

"Don't ever use the word 'closure' with me. I once threw a reporter out who used that word. It's simply a hole in your heart that is always there ... and you learn to live with it."  Jim Frasier, whose 24 year old son, Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier was killed in Afganistan in 2003, as quoted by the Denver Post, Memorial Day, 2010.


The death of our spouse, parent, sibling or child can throw us into such strong emotions and chaos that we fear our lives will fall apart. We are often unprepared for the intensity of our feelings, and many families are unprepared to talk openly and directly about their experience.

Unlike depression, grief is a tunnel with light at the end. It is a natural reaction to loss whether it be due to death, divorce, or debilitating illness. Grief may look like depression on its face, but is a process which can be worked through. Your life will be changed forever, and you will never forget your loved one; but you can and will move on. As someone who experienced the Oklahoma bombing observed, "You never get back to 'normal'. You just experience a 'new normal'."

The cliche that "time heals all wounds" is only partially true. You need time, but you also need to actively grieve. There is a myth in our society that you should be over the loss in a year. On the other hand, the longer you stuff your feelings, especially with drugs and alcohol, the more time your period of bereavement  will  be. Grief counseling gives you a safe place to address  your personal experience without being told what you should feel, how long it should take, or how you should be getting over it.

Families have so much difficulty grieving together they often experience disconnection and isolation from one another. Grief counseling can help heal these cracks, and give a family permission to talk among themselves. Sometimes you just need a professional who is outside your inner circle to give you a hand.


"The sadness of letting go of a person we love is tempered if we remember to hold everyone lightly, knowing they are just 'on loan'."  Deborah Duda

Also see Advanced Medical Directives

For GLBT Widowers



Last messed with February 23, 2016

Copyright(c) 2001 Michael E. Holtby, LCSW. All rights reserved.

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