Few of us go through life without experiencing the loss of someone important in our lives. It triggers strong emotions that we may not have experienced before.
Each experience of bereavement is different. How we respond can be complicated by many factors such as the lack of an opportunity to say 'goodbye', a difficult or estranged relationship prior to their death, sudden or traumatic circumstances or a loved one's decision to take their own life. It can raise painful questions and a need to go over things many times.
When a loved one has died in traumatic circumstances additional problems may be experienced such as coming to terms with the nature of the trauma and a life cut short, grieving privately if the circumstances in which they died mean it is in the public domain, the fear of stigma, feelings of anger and self -repproach and how to adjust to the sudden and unexpected change we are experiencing.
The Grieving Process
Our grieving process can take a long time, or surface some time later. This could be years after the loss, but commonly occurs from about two months afterwards.
When we are bereaved we experience many different emotions which can include shock, disbelief, numbness, longing, idealisation, apathy, sadness, anger, guilt, loneliness and depression before reaching reminiscing, hope and acceptance.
Grief can be a very lonely experience, particularly when others seem to be moving on. Clients often tell me they think that 'they should be over it by now'.
Through grieving we learn how to cope with the future without the person we have lost. It is an essential and painful healing process which is achieved through a number of stages:facing the reality that they have died, experiencing the pain of loss, adjusting to a new reality without them and finally re-investing in the future.
'I feel my life does have a purpose again.'
How Bereavement Counselling Can Help
Bereavement counsellling offers you the opportunity to release and express all your emotions, separate from your daily life, where you can talk openly without the worry of offending or upsetting anyone or the need to be strong for those around you.
Clients have told me how much they value support and guidance as they move through the stages of grieving, dealing with both the emotional and more practical tasks that need to be performed when someone has died or to help them cope with external procedures that may apply. Bereavement counselling provides the time and space for you to do this, with the support of a professional, at whatever pace feels right for you.