Our partners at Canvas Health provide the mental health support so many families need after the traumatic loss of a loved one. The following story gives insight into why asking for professional help can bring renewed strength and hope.
By Becky Martin-Facer, LICSW
Research has shown that the sooner you address and process a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, the less likely you are to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Canvas Health has partnered with Brighter Days Grief Center to provide meaningful support to those who have experienced loss. Here is one Canvas Health client’s story.
Stephanie’s husband had died in a car crash. Six months later, the events of that day still replayed in her mind. She still remembered the police at her door. She could still see how the officers looked and feel her own rising dread, then horror, as they delivered the terrible news.
Stephanie had so many things she wished she had said to her husband—sweet things, such as how much she loved him.
Shortly before he died, they’d had a fight, and she couldn’t get rid of her feelings of guilt, as though that fight had somehow caused him to die. Or that in his last moments, his thoughts of her gave him pain instead of comfort.
Six months after the accident, she no longer found meaning in her home or work life and struggled simply to get up from bed. Despite the well-meaning concern of her family and friends, she felt all alone with her grief.
To get better, she knew she would need to be completely open and honest with someone—and she felt that person couldn’t be family member. She called Canvas Health to find a therapist. It was an act of hope.
At her first appointment with the therapist, she shared everything. Her therapist listened with empathy and without judgement.
As she was leaving the first session, her demeanor changed. Tears flowed as she thanked the therapist and gave her a big hug. Stephanie told the therapist that she felt a huge weight lifted off her. It had been months since she’d felt so light. Stephanie told the therapist she knew this was going to be hard, but she looked forward to getting her life back on track.
Stephanie continued to see her Canvas Health therapist on a weekly basis for a few months.
By the end of those few months, she was back at work, was going out with friends and family, and was starting to plan positive things for the future.
Stephanie says she knows this is what her husband would have wanted for her.
Her grief and loss continue to be a work in progress as there are always bumps in the road, but today, thanks to Canvas Health, she’s in a much better place to handle these.
You deserve to be happy and have a bright positive future. Let Canvas Health and Brighter Days Grief Center help be part of your healing journey.
* To protect the privacy of our client, some identifying information has been changed.
Becky Martin-Facer is a Canvas Health clinic manager in Richfield, Minnesota. If you would like more information on bereavement counseling or to schedule an appointment, please call (651) 777-5222 or visit CanvasHealth.org.