Dealing with the death of a loved one.

When we lose a loved one, it is often a bewildering and difficult time in our lives. At first we find ourselves in shock, and dealing with the intense denial and strong emotions death can bring.

Trusting:On the other hand, we may feel emotionally numb, and overwhelmed with disbelief. We may also experience the deep and unbearable pain of grief. Yet throughout our grief it is good to keep the line of communication open with our family and friends.

In the days and weeks that follow the death of a loved one, we may sometimes feel angry, sad, lonely, or depressed. We may be emotionally and physically exhausted. It is during these times that we might feel lost and out of control. We may endure times of restlessness, crying, confusion and even nausea, but these are all normal responses to grief.

In addition to these we may feel helpless and overwrought with guilt. We may not be sleeping well. We may find changes in our appetite. We might notice extreme mood swings, loss of motivation, irritability, and we may even find that we are isolating ourselves.

The event of loss is different for everyone. No two people grieve in the same manner. We need to understand that it is a difficult task to accept the reality of our loss, because we are hurting, and no one likes to hurt. Trying to adjust to living without our loved one will take time. Time for mourning. Time for healing. Time for resolution.

Some suggestions that might be especially helpful during this time:


Write in it as often as you can, especially when you feel depressed, stressed, or lonely. Even something as simple as a composition book will help you express your innermost thoughts, feelings, and concerns.


Containing proper amounts of complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, proteins, and fat included in a good breakfast and meals spaced evenly throughout the day. This will keep you from losing your physical strength when your emotional strength has worn thin.


Make it a priority. It is an antidote to depression. Even a simple walk will help burn off residual stress hormones that may be circulating in your body.


Stay connected with positive people. Take time to meet with them. Spend time with people who care about you.


Take the time to relax throughout your daily routine.


Each of us must follow our own timetable. Grief has no calendar. Grief is a process, not to be hurried.


Trust that God knows that your heart is broken. Believe that his unfailing love, grace and mercy will eventually enable you not only to live, but celebrate life once again. Throughout that time, find refuge in the comforting arms of God's unending compassion. As you journey though this most painful and difficult time he has promised that he will not leave nor will he forsake you.

The following pages were designed to provide you and your family with services, of which most are free of charge. Please take advantage of them if you or your family is grieving the loss of a loved one. That is why they are there. Each of these support groups will be more than glad to help you. Many of these groups also offer counseling, support, information and education to help during times of loss and grief. Simply call to check on dates and times. (author Chris Luthey)


Hospice Bereavement Group

  • 202 East 10th Street
  • Erie, PA 16503
  • 814-456-6689

Parents Reaching Other Parents in

  • Sorrow (PROPS)
  • P.O. Box 1023
  • Erie, PA 16512
  • 814-899-1058
  • Support group for loss of a child

Homicide Survivors Support Group

  • Victim Witness Services
  • 125 West 18th Street
  • Erie, PA 16501
  • 814-455-9515

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Visiting Nurse Association

  • 1305 Peach Street
  • Erie, PA 16501

The Caring Place

  • Bayview Office Park Building II
  • 510 Cranberry Street
  • Erie, PA 16507
  • 814-871-6868
  • 866-212-4673 (toll free)
  • A place for children and families

Empty Arms

  • c/o Patty McGuniess
  • 6416 Wyndham Court
  • Erie, PA 16505
  • 814-838-6346
  • Support Group for people that experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn’s death

Grief Recovery Support Ministry

  • First Assembly of God
  • 8150 Oliver Road
  • Erie, PA 16509
  • 814-868-4876


United Way of Western Crawford County

  • 201 Chestnut Street
  • Meadville, PA 16335
  • 814-337-1251

The Caring Place

  • Bayview Office Park Building II
  • 510 Cranberry Street
  • Erie, PA 16507
  • 814-871-6868
  • 866-212-4673 (toll free)
  • A place for children and families

Compassionate Friends

Hospice of Crawford County

  • 448 Pine Street
  • Meadville, PA 16335
  • 814-333-5403

St. Brigid Church

  • 383 Arch Street
  • Meadville, PA 16335
  • 814-336-4459
  • Different support Group
  • Contact: Darlene Shenk 814-724-6892

Elizabeth Ministries

  • (Parents of still borns)

The groups listed are for informational purposes only and are not an endorsement by the Mattera Funeral Home.