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I had two deaths in my life within ten weeks. One was my friend since age 12, with many shared experiences, history and, common values, many laughs and tears were shared together. The other lived with us for almost 18 years and was never very far away, never the left the house overnight, and understood how to be a companion to myself and children whether we were sick or happy, or really down. One had fur. One did not. One death was very sudden with no hint it was coming. The other gave us a week of guessing, vet appointments and trying to do all the right things. They were both difficult and gut wrenching. Having two deaths in a short time is so difficult, I don't have words to describe it, heartbroken works, but only so much. I walked around literally feeling as if I was punched in the heart. Loss is so much more than words can describe.


  • It is a normal part of life but does not feel normal
  • Grief has no timetable
  • We all may know the stages of grief, but don't expect it to be in order, grief circles around and does its own thing
  • Grief is life altering
  • Tears are natural, so is not crying at times
  • Grief affects all of us, including our body, you may experience increased physical pain
  • Grief can make you feel out of control
  • We all grieve in our own way
  • Grief affects our body, mind and spirit
  • Don't make any big decisions when grieving as we may not be thinking “straight”
  • Reach out to others, allow them to support you
  • Ask for what you need, it's all ok, from a quiet afternoon to a talkative evening with friends
  • You must go through the pain to heal
  • Surround yourself with love and positive things. This can be people, pets, God, the outdoors, books, music, a massage, things that feel cozy. Have a treat but don't overdo it, I prefer pizza, pasta or ice cream, you also can't miss with a little chocolate
  • Be authentic with others
  • Don’t wall in your feelings

Know that you are not alone in your grief. There are support groups available if needed, as well as individual counseling to help get through this. Don’t stuff the feeling, or be a hero by not crying. Be yourself because you are a warrior to make it through, as this is one of the hardest parts of life.

Cathrym E. Knezevich, M.Ed., LPCC
DBT IOP Director

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The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.