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Grief in the Trucking Industry

Grief in the Trucking Industry

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of death in the trucking industry. It is very difficult to hear about these tragedies and often even more difficult to know how to respond to a fellow trucker and their family who has lost a loved one. Often, one does not know what to say when someone loses a loved one. Sometimes, we find ourselves rambling or regretting what we utter when we are just trying to find a way to comfort someone who is grieving.

Grief is difficult to describe. Many think of it as a reaction to death, which it often is. However, it is the reaction to loss of anything important in one’s life. It could be the loss of a person, relationship, material item, or even the loss of an ability that one once had (losing the ability to walk, for example).

Common symptoms of grief include:
Loss of appetite, nightmares, being forgetful, anger, social withdrawal, confusion, difficulty making decisions, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping.

Grief is a natural experience that each person experiences differently.

It is OK to:
Think of your loved one frequently
Feel sad
Frequently cry
Have a reminder of your loved one and then feel really sad/upset (known as a griefburst)
Not think about the loved one for an extended period of time. Its ok!

When to get help:
You can no longer go to work or have great difficulty getting out of bed
You have suicidal thoughts
You feel talking with someone could help ease the hurt
You feel members of your family are having problems functioning or your family does not function as a whole. Family therapy can help!

What to do when someone is grieving:
Don’t try to fix it
Let them talk…listen to them
If they don’t want to talk, respect the request
Be supportive and don’t criticize

About Buck Black

I am a licensed therapist (LCSW) in private practice who focuses on anger, stress, and relationships. I do this both in my Lafayette Indiana office and online. I also specialize in working with truckers and their families over the phone and on Skype at www.TruckerTherapy.com.

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