How might grief counseling help you?
Losing someone you are close to may leave your feeling lost, sad, alone and angry. You desperately miss the person who passed away - and you want him/her back.
Your loved one might have been suffering from a serious disease - and you were so busy taking care of them that now it feels like you have nothing to do. This can increase your feelings of loss. It is a part of grieving and mourning, a normal reaction to losing someone you have loved and cared for.
Everyone has their own way of grieving what they have lost. It is important that you do not try to ignore your grief. You may want to seek the support you need to manage your grief. If case you are feeling clinically depressed or overwhelmed by your loss, it is good to consider getting immediate help. Grief counseling is one solution.
Processing your loss
It is not always the case that grief hits you like a ton of bricks. In some situations, you feel nothing - and there may be a feeling of numbness after a significant loss. You may feel like nothing has happened - because it is hard for you to process your loss and the painful reality of the situation. Even if you feel overwhelmed, this could make you feel like you are disconnected from normal life. The first goal for a grief counselor is to help you understand your loss and what it means to you.
Help to deal with the trauma
Before you can get on with the process of grief, your grief counselor may help you understand that your experience may have been traumatic. As you experience these painful feelings of shock and trauma you can process them at your grief counseling sessions.
Talking about your loved one
Once you have lost a loved one you might start crying every time you talk about them. There is a chance that even your friends and family members will start judging you because they cannot understand the magnitude of your grief. A counselor will help you understand your feelings and they will be committed to listen to everything that you share with them. They will help you to talk freely about your loved one and to celebrate their life.
Expressing your emotions
There are some people who can go for months and years without emotionally processing what they have lost. This is the reason they do not cry and will go into a traumatic state in which they do not share their feelings and prefer to stay quiet. In this situation, grief counseling can be helpful because it would help you to experience your emotions instead of staying in a state of shock and trauma.
Consider starting grief counseling if you have experienced the loss of someone you love. Your friends and family members may not be able to provide you with all the help that you need.
Coping with the Loss of a Loved One
There are few times in our lives where we feel the depression, emptiness and all-consuming grief that comes with the death of someone we hold dear. These feelings are difficult to express and even more challenging to navigate when one has the rest of life to worry about, too.
Each person experiences grief differently and no two losses are felt the same way. What works for helping one person to cope through the aftermath of a loss might not work for someone else. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mourning and moving on, here is some advice that’s designed to help individuals get through such difficult times.
Talk About the Loved One’s Passing
One of the most important parts of healing is allowing yourself to feel the full breadth of your emotions. Don’t avoid feeling sadness or even anger by refusing to talk about the life or death of the person who is gone. This is only a flimsy mask that inadequately covers up grief; it will not help you to conquer it.
Instead, make use of the support system that you have around you. Others who have felt the impact of the person’s death, family members and even counselors or therapists are great outlets for these emotions to be made known and talked about. Talk to someone who you know wants to listen, who engages you with kindness and empathy, and is willing to avoid shifting the focus of the conversation onto them.
Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life
While it might feel impossible to celebrate anything right now, you could be amazed at how much relief and even closure can be provided when you make an effort to celebrate the person who has gone. Donate to a charity that they loved, create a memory book full of photographs and quotes, plant a tree in their memory…you knew the person, so you’ll likely have a few ideas as to how you can honor their memory.
By shifting your attention, even for a brief time, onto the memories of the person when they were alive you can help lighten the load of depression that you’ve been carrying with you. You may still feel sad while doing this, but that’s okay. What’s important is that you remember the greatness that they had in them in life and use those memories to cope with their absence.
Prepare Yourself for Reminders
Even if you have functionally moved on after a loved one’s passing, the feelings of grief and loss can become magnified when you’re presented with certain reminders. The anniversary of their death, the holiday gatherings where their face is no longer present, their birthday, or even certain places and things that they once loved could bring those emotions rushing to the foreground.
While you shouldn’t suppress your emotions, you should perhaps prepare yourself for the fact that you will face reminders of the person who is gone. Before an important or memorable date comes around, acknowledge it and make a plan for how you’ll get through the day. You might want to do something that they had done, to keep a tradition going, or you might want to let the day slip by quietly. Whatever you do, it’s best to be ready for what might come in the weeks, months and even years following your loss.
Moving on after a life-changing loss is never an easy feat, and it may take you a very long to fully come to terms with the person’s death. Do not beat yourself up for feeling grief or mourning, even when years have come and gone. You are under no obligation to heal one anybody’s time frame except your own.
A resource that I recommend for support is Grief Share. They offer well organized, educational local support groups as well as free daily email support.
Call Dr. Clare Albright, Psy.D. CA Psychologist License PSY11660 at (949) 454-0996 at http://DrCAlbright.com