Healing, Peace, Stability through Supportive Grief Counseling
What is Grief?
Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a natural part of life. Grief is a typical reaction to death, divorce, job loss, moving away from family and friends, or loss of good health due to illness. Other losses that may produce grief are retirement, loss of a pet, aging, children leaving home or decreased financial security. How you grieve depends on how you learned to cope with stress in your life before the loss took place. If someone died, your grief depends on the the quality of the relationship you had with that person. While you are grieving, it is important to get support from family and friends who understand your loss.
How does Grief Feel?
While you are grieving, you may feel like the rest of the world is going on as usual while your life stopped. Just after a loss, you may feel empty, numb, sad, angry or depressed. You may notice physical changes such as loss of appetite, sleeplessness, or wanting to eat everything in your refrigerator. After a death, almost everyone experiences some guilt such as “I should have, I could have, and I wish I would have” statements. The very worst kind of grief is your own and the way out of it is to go through it.
How long does Grief last?
There are many theories regarding the grieving process. Regardless of various stages of grief, each person grieves individually and in their own time. Grief lasts as long as it takes for you to accept and learn to live with your loss. For some people, grief lasts a few months and for others, it may take years. Shakespeare said “He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend”. Recovering from the death of a loved one or the loss of a relationship has been termed “grief work”. Like any other job, it cannot be rushed nor can it be gauged by anyone else’s progress.
Treatment often depends on the extent to which grief has impacted your ability to function in day to day life. There is no “quick fix” or “easy cure” for grief. When talking to a trusted friend or family member is not enough, then counseling can help you express your feelings and understand that your emotions can be normal reactions to your loss. Maybe you have heard the phrase that someone is “stuck” in their grief. As your therapist, I will work with you to learn new coping mechanisms to deal with the intensity of your pain and to release any anger, guilt or regret. At the same time, you will have access to a toolbox of action steps to take care of yourself while planning your future and reinvesting in your life. By expressing grief openly through counseling, healing can occur and you are likely to sustain a sense of peace and stability in your life.