When someone we love dies it throws us into panic, confusion we feel disorientated, lost and alone. You may feel like you are falling apart as news starts to sync in, you start to question yourself
“Am I going crazy”? “Am I going mad”?.
As a therapist, these are very familiar questions when I first meet clients following the death of a precious loved one.
The grieving process can ‘feel like’ you are unstable, going mad or losing control - what is really happening is your feelings are being whipped up by the winds of your grief in the immediacy of time all at once in intensity. The pendulum of emotions swing from one extreme to the other almost in an instance and you feel ’as if’ you are powerless to stop them or stop what’s happening as you are forced onto the path of grief and all which follows the death of a loved one.
One moment sad, the next laughing, swinging back and forth low mood, confusion, disorientated, feeling empty yet full of despair, needy anxious or fearful of what is going to happen next. All this movement is difficult to catch hold of in the beginning as the shock and numbness begins to wear off your emotions intensify and you feel overwhelmed.
It’s difficult to ‘get your head’ around what has happened even if the death was expected when it happens death can feel ‘unbelievable’, your emotions don’t seem to settle for weeks or months.
Grief is a very personal experience even when the person we have lost is a family member, the relationship each one of you had with your loved one will be different therefore it follows each person will process their grief in an individualistic way.
There is no time scale to anyone’s grieving, it's not a competition to see who fares better than another! It's not a linier line of time where at one week past death you can expect this to happen and two weeks later that will happen a month later you can expect such and such to happen and after a few weeks or month you can expect to be over it! I don't think we ever 'get over it' or used to a loved one dying and do we want to in all reality?
There is no right or wrong way to process your loss of the person you loved, there is no ‘expected’ time when you will be able to go through your grieving process, grief is as individual and unique as you are.
Grief can be thought of as a river flowing, moving, stop, start, flooding, dry beds, waterfalls and ebbs and flows of tides within an emotional process, altering and changing overtime. Grief has motivation and a direction, it takes time to accept what has happened and it takes more time to integrate the loss of all your loved one meant to you.
It takes even more time to adjust to life without your loved one in your daily living and this adaption process can last for weeks, month or years as you learn to live life without them.
In my experience, both personally and as a therapist you will never be ‘over’ the loss of someone significantly precious to you.
Some therapist advocate for emotionally separating from your loved one and advocate this is the goal of grief counselling.
However, what I find is emotional separation is a goal which is unachievable.
Why would anyone want to be emotionally separate from someone they love?
What is achievable is ‘growth’ around your grief and as an experienced grief counsellor I work with clients to achieve emotional stability, emotional mastery and find personal peace with connection to both the living and those who have died in a healthy life enriching way.
With and in loving memory
Grief can be thought of in terms of a piecing together of a new way of living and some times a new identity and a new normal.
This will take time so that is the only expectation I would offer to any client grieving after the death of a loved one. It takes time and in time you can reach a place you can accept and achieve personal peace.
If you feel overwhelmed with grief and feel you need support speaking with someone outside your familiar circle may make all the difference.
Supporting you to clarify, explore your feelings and thoughts in a non-judgmental, compassionate and caring way. Supporting you through the painful process which is grief contact me today … in partnership we will find a way through!
I offer a free half hour telephone or video call