Grief Is A Complex And Individual Experience, And There Is No Set Timeline For Healing.
Losing someone you love, whether through death, divorce, or a relationship breakdown, can be one of the most difficult experiences of your life. You may feel like you’re navigating uncharted territory, unsure of how to cope or where to turn for support. It’s okay to feel lost and alone, and it’s important to know that grief counselling help is available.
What Is Grief?
Grief can occur at any time in life and over any experience that involves the loss of a person, unborn baby, animal, an item held in high regard, or even a life transition (divorce, changing jobs, empty nest syndrome, leaving school etc.) It can also occur as anticipatory grief when a loved one is terminally ill or when receiving a terminal diagnosis.
In its simplest form, grief is the natural way the heart copes with loss. The feelings we experience may include some or all of the following:
- Anger, rage and hostility
- Relief (sometimes occurs after the death of a loved one when that person was terminally ill and in a lot of pain)
All of these emotions are normal and manifest in daily life in some of the following ways:
- A lack of desire to engage in life.
- Frequent episodes of crying.
- A sense of being unable to “face the outside world.”
- The belief that you can’t go on.
- Loss of appetite.
- Insomnia or sleeping excessively.
- Upset stomach and nausea.
- Feeling disconnected from your experience as though in a daze or fog.
- Self attacking thoughts, especially if you believe that the loss wouldn’t have occurred if you had done something differently.
- Extreme anger, especially in cases where there has been a betrayal. This may manifest as anger outbursts or ‘snapping’ at people.
The way out of grief is through grief. This is hard to hear when in the depths of grief—the last thing we want to do is wade through it—but grief that is suppressed, ignored or fought against will eventually surface. It’s a little like trying to hold all the balloons underwater and prevent them from popping up; you can only keep them all down for so long.
Grief counselling is about helping you access the emotions associated with grief and walking with you through your grief. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross once said that the one thing we all need on our journey is a witness to our pain. Your counsellor can be that witness.
What typically happens after a loss is that friends and family will be there to support you for the first three or so months—making meals, helping with daily chores and commitments, checking in on you—but after that, the help begins to wane as people return to the realities of life. However, after three months, your pain may be just as acute as it was at three weeks, and you need your support network as much as you did before.
A trained professional will help you with the following:
- Accepting that the loss has occurred.
- Identifying and experiencing the feelings associated with the loss.
- Acquiring coping skills to assist in adapting to your new life.
- Finding meaning in the loss. This involves grappling with the question, “Why did this happen to me?” and, “How am I different because of this loss?”
- Affirming what is normal through the grief journey.
- Maintaining a connection with your loved one while moving on with your life.
Our team understands the unique challenges of grieving and we are here to support you every step of the way. Our experienced counselors can provide you with the tools and resources you need to navigate your grief journey and find hope for the future.
If you’re ready to take the first step towards healing and finding hope, schedule a consultation with one of our compassionate grief counselors. We’re here to help you on your journey to healing and finding peace.