Grief & Loss
Comes in many sizes, colours, shapes and forms. Caused by many experiences. According to research "It has been estimated that for every death, nine people are affected". So if you are here because you are affected by a loved one's death you are not alone.
Often topics we don't like to talk about because it catapults us into the unknown, to support this I find it helps breaking things down into manageable chunks aiding understanding, for example:
Bereavement - The origin of the term bereavement means 'the state of being deprived', taken away from, robbed, seized or snatched from.
Grief - refers to our reaction following deprivation, our emotional response; the complex and sometimes complicated mixture of raw painful emotions.
Loss can be described from a sense all is not well, I often say I'm off balance what I really mean is, I've lost my wellness or well-being.
What is most important is how grief and loss is affecting you and what we can do about these affects together.
Bereavement and Loss
Whilst the two terms are used interchangeably, as we can see from my description above they are something different. Since bereavement means someone has died and can't be returned whereas with loss there is a huge chance that a person's well-being can be returned, it may present challenges and we may not be quite who we were before depending on the the loss experienced. When we're suffering both which is usual, we can rebuild our self and grow around our grief.
Both are valid experiences to seek support.
Talking about death is still somewhat of a taboo in the 21st century because many just don't know what to say to a bereft parent, spouse, mother, father, child, sibling or friend or anyone distress by death or significant personal loss. We use platitudes or ignore and say nothing.
What bereavement and loss do have in common is, both launch us into the unknown and can both be life changing, can happen to anyone of us at any time and there is a grieving process which follows.
Grief & Loss
Like trauma both these experiences can impact ever facet of our lives, disrupting our emotional Psychological, biological and social living. Grief and its affects is the 'what' we work with in counselling, at your pace and putting you at the centre of all we do in a safe compassionate space, with a professional counsellor with 20 years experience, lived experiences in these areas.
None of us know how we will react and respond to the death of a beloved or significant loss
Grief is like a ball of hot intense emotions all tangled together; this intertwining makes emotions difficult to understand and the person grieving will not be able to make sense of them and we may be unable to articulate how we are feeling for some time. This is natural and normal following the death of significant loved one.
Grief is inconsistent, were not prepared for it, even if we ’knew’ death was the only outcome.
We may feel:
Shock and numbness we may feel in a daze, confused or foggy headed.
Overwhelmed with feelings sadness we may cry all the time or not cry at all.
Tiredness feelings of exhaustion and fatigue.
Anger and hostility witnessing or hearing about a death or life changing diagnosis is a painful and frightening experience, and we can have a sense of unfairness and injustice.
Panic and anxiety we may not understand why they died even if we've been given a cause of death.
Death can bring feelings of changed personal identity, we may feel like we have lost our identity.
Guilt and shame about any of our feelings, about something said or not said or done, not being able to help or stop your loved one dying or getting ill.
Despair at losing the person we love or parts of our self and our lifestyle, we may find our-self sat in a void, questioning what now or who I am now without them.
Suffering - refers to the state we experience and endure all of the above, it is unpleasant and associated with aversion; it comes at us with intensity it can range from uncomfortable to downright agony, distress, forlornness and desolation. Suffering sits in the breadth of the space between the reality of 'what is and 'what is desired, wanted and or needed', misery, woe, anguish and sorrow.
Feelings can be intense wash over us like a wave; the wave may be like a tsunami or build like a typhoon and hit you all at once when you are least expecting it.
All feelings are valid and you can expect a mixture of feelings, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, it is a normal reaction to the death of a loved one.
Mourning - describes the 'doing' of our grief it is the expression of our sorrow, hurt, pain and/or helplessness; it is perhaps the slow process of recognising what and who we are depraved of, and the wider implication for each of us as individuals and how our life will be different because of the physical absence of our beloved.
If you are finding difficulty in releasing your emotions, not making sense or your feelings are very intense or not coming to terms with the death of a loved one, significant diagnosis or loss of relationship.
Its good to talk. Many people find talking to someone who is not in their relationship circle beneficial because as a trained, experienced compassionate counsellor can help you make sense of, find meaning and purpose to your unique and individual grieving journey.
How can counselling help with Bereavement & Loss?
Offering you a grounded presence of warmth, physical and emotional safety, in a nonjudgmental, safe space, within a transparent, open and consistent therapeutic relationship.
Creating a collaborative and compassionate supportive relationship where you feel able to talk openly and honestly about what happened to you.
Validate and normalize the mix of confusing emotions and support you to cope with overwhelming feelings.
Raise your self-awareness, self-esteem and confidence in yourself to cope.
Support you to work though those more difficult feelings e.g. guilt, resentment, despair and the mix of intense feelings.
Support you to continue bonds with your loved one.
Support you to grow around your grief or loss into post bereavement growth.
Support you to reach acceptance of your life without your loved one.
Offer you tools, coping strategies, recognise your unique symptoms and process your experiences.
Restore daily functioning, awareness, skills and knowledge to support your self-understanding and manage your emotions and self, long after therapy has ended.
Foster autonomy, self-empowerment and personal agency.
Foster growth, resiliency and healing, voice and choice.
Death, Bereavement & Loss credentials - I volunteered with Cruse Bereavement Care for 6 years and achieved their Accredited Bereavement Counsellor status, undertook Cruse 60 hour bereavement course and many on-going CPD workshops and courses over the years to work with all presentations of death trauma, bereavement and the secondary losses these bring.
Currently I work within a Children's Hospice in the role of Lead Counsellor supporting families going through extreme and toughest of times in their lives, caring for their own children with life-threatening and life-shortening illness. Supporting individual members from diagnosis, illness, palliative care and the devastating traumatic bereavement process following the death of their precious child.
I have written, developed and facilitate a 6 monthly Psychoeducation Bereavement program which successfully supports families following the death of their precious Child.
Created a suicidal map to negotiate the rough terrain that is suicidal ideation
Mentoring, supervising volunteers and professional counsellors supporting clients presenting trauma, bereavement & loss and anxiety .
If you're struggling in your grief or affects of loss it really is good to talk, you don't need
to go through this journey alone.
Contact me at email@example.com or telephone, text, WhatsApp message on 07867938630 and lets connect and realise your possibilities and potential.