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GRASP Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing

By on March 8, 2019 in Events

GRASP, (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) was created to help provide sources of help, compassion and most of all, understanding for families who have had a loved one die through drug use.

Those who are left behind find their grief overpowering. The sudden passing is nothing that had been planned for because as long as the person was alive there was still hope.

But where to turn? Society has grieving groups for when a child, a spouse or other loved one has died from accident, suicide, even murder. Drug crime statistics suggest that more than half of the families of the indicted ones undergo mental trauma and that it eventuates to unfortunate ends. But, oddly, there is little help available for those who have lost a loved one through the disease of addiction/substance use disorder or misuse of drugs. GRASP is for all who have had loved ones slip away and to ease the pain in any way for those left behind to cope.

First we would like to express our sincerest, deepest sympathy to everyone who has experienced the passing of a beloved person because of substances of any kind.

This is one of the most traumatic tragedies which, no doubt, has been preceded by weeks, months, even years of heartbreaking turmoil when you have searched, loved, and tried to understand and help your special one.

You are not alone. There are many, many around you who share similar experiences, and are waiting to assist in any way to lovingly, gently bring you through these times. One thing is for sure. We will never stop loving these souls who have departed. And they continue to be a part of our lives as we think of them, share memories of them with others as well as ourselves.

When you are experiencing a major loss, illness, death, separation or any life change, here are some tools for coping with the everyday thoughts, feelings and realities of living.

  • Be gentle with your own feelings and thought process. Avoid self judgment. Don’t put “I should have” or “if only” on yourself.
  • Find a supportive person or persons you can trust. Share your honest feelings and ideas.
  • Give yourself time for healing. The timing of grief cannot be rushed. Plan your day so that you have a specific time to focus on your loss, and special time to escape from the pain of the reality of what you’re facing. Clearly, this is a guideline, as so often, grief and sadness will take over when you least expect it…a song, a place, a conversation played in your head…allow that and then move on.
  • When you experience fear, anger, helplessness, sorrow, pain, emptiness, isolation, depression or relief, it can be very confusing.
  • Try to maintain as regular a schedule as possible, while avoiding unrealistic expectations and goals for yourself.
  • Maintain an awareness of your body’s needs for nutrition and rest. If symptoms arise that are new to you, see a physician.
  • For more help, we urge you to explore the GRASP website: or email [email protected] and become involved in the GRASP facebook group for support, direction, and most of all, a helping hand.

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