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Grief Can Affect You in Many Ways. Rachel Weinstein, Founder of the Jacksonville Center for Grief and Loss Uses "PIESS" to Describe the Impacts.

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April 12, 2024 •  Emily Hicks Law, PLLC
How will grief affect you? Grief counselor and expert, Rachel Weinstein, helps guide us through how grief can impact us.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Weinstein for Elder Law Hour. She is an expert of grief and really talked through the difficulties of going through grief. Whether it's grieving the loss of a loved one or grieving the loss of a significant relationship, there are cultural expectations that we tend to hold ourselves to. But, are these beneficial? What is the right way to go through grief? Is there a right way?

Learn about Rachel

Rachel Weinstein is a grief specialist and educator in the Jacksonville, FL area and is the founder of “Jacksonville Center for Grief and Loss”, which provides support and education for grief, loss, and life transition. She has been featured on local television (like First Coast News and News4Jax), on national television (like MSNBC), in national newspapers (like USA Today and The Chicago Tribune), and on over 50 syndicated radio programs, discussing various aspects on coping with grief, loss, and change.

Rachel holds a Bachelor’s degree in applied health science (1989) and a Master’s degree in Education with a specialty in Counseling and Counselor Education (1991), both from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Rachel spent the early part of her career as a general psychotherapist in the state of Pennsylvania before a personal loss inspired both a relocation and a change in her career focus. No longer a psychotherapist, Rachel has devoted her practice solely to supporting grief and loss and providing community and professional presentations for over 25 years.

Her passion is providing grief support and mental healthcare advocacy and education, particularly for those whose needs are often overlooked and under-supported.

PIESS - How grief can affect you

Grief can affect your whole body. Rachel has a fantastic acronym to help us identify all the different symptoms of grief. It's important to note that you may not experience all of these. Or you may experience other symptoms that aren't listed here.

  1. Physical - Starting at the top, you may experience headaches, sleeplessness, or dry mouth. Some experience a heaviness in the chest, digestive issues, or heavy feet.
  2. Intellectual - Grief can affect your memory and your sharpness.
  3. Emotional - Emotions like sadness, anger, numbness, or even relief (in cases of dementia) can happen. You may go in and out of all these emotions for different periods of time.
  4. Social - Rachel says, "Grief has a way of rearranging your address book." You may feel like the people closest to you aren't there. Maybe they don't know HOW to be there for you, so they pull away. You may be surprised that other are there and do know what to do that you didn't expect. It will be important to communicate what you do need to those who care about you.
  5. Spiritual - Think about the big questions of life...where is my loved one after death? Where is heaven? Is there a heaven? Why did this happen to this person? The spiritual questions can be related to religion, but they can be separate too. You may find that you have lost or gained interest in your faith after the passing of a loved one, and that can be a normal reaction.

If you are in the midst of grief right now, and you are struggling, give Rachel a call, 669-272-8036. You can also visit her website, Jax Grief, to learn more. She is a wonderful resource and we sincerely enjoyed our conversation with her on the show!

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