Featured Resource: Help Is a Click Away
Many people who read this newsletter know or work with someone who is grieving.
SADOD is dedicated to providing hope, help, and healing to anyone who is suffering from a substance use related death. We want to support you in helping others cope with their grief.
The peer-to-peer model is one way to help with this, because no one knows what a person is going through better than someone who has walked in their shoes.
The need for this kind of support has increased recently due to COVID-19, with no face to face meeting options, so newly bereaved people are reaching out through virtual meetings on video. The current social isolation and restrictions have even left people without the support of their community, friends and family. Without a funeral or a memorial service, it can be an excruciatingly lonely time.
Imagine the feeling of witnessing the agony of a grieving parent, someone you are meeting for the very first time, through a video meeting. Their broken heart is desperately searching for a way to cope with this unimaginable loss. A beloved son or daughter has died, and they cannot talk to anyone who understands what they have been through -- what they’re still going through. Where do you begin to help someone in this situation?
This is where peer grief support becomes a lifeline. Not only are there peer helpers who have experienced a similar loss, there are other bereaved people who are walking the same path and can empathize and hold a family close to their hearts during their darkest hours. Hearts and hands reach out and hold these families close so they are not alone.
As a person supporting the bereaved, remember that SADOD is a great resource for you and for the people you’re trying to help. There is an entire section of the website for the newly bereaved, and being familiar with it will give you a host of practical tools to offer others in their time of need. Start at the SADOD home page and click on “Has a friend or loved one died,” then on the next page, click on “Help me with basic information.” You will land on this page, which has a lot on it, but you need go no further than the list under the “Essentials” heading to discover the kinds of support that a grieving person might find useful. There are 20 links in the list of “Essentials” that lead to articles and handouts on every topic from the pain and emotions of grief to how to grieve as a family.
Many items on the “Essentials” list focus specifically on grief after a death from substance use, including offering insights about three questions commonly asked by people bereaved from this kind of loss:
- “Why did my person die from substance use?”
- “Did my person intend to die?”
- “Was my person’s death preventable?”
Remember, SADOD is a judgment-free zone of compassion and support for people bereaved by substance-use loss. Reaching out is the first step toward healing, yet often it's the hardest one to take. We recognize this and are here to support you in any way we can. If you feel overwhelmed or confused by any of this, you can email us here. We will get back to you with the help you are looking for.