Grief, Bereavement & Loss
Grief is a natural response to bereavement and loss and includes a wide variety of emotions. There are many theories about the process but there is really no 'correct' way to grieve and there is no set length of time it should last. Every loss is unique and each person will have their own way of coping and dealing with their feelings.
Sometimes the emotions of grief are very strong and can feel overwhelming whilst at other times a person might feel completely empty or numb. Shock, sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, anxiety and depression are all normal, but often very distressing, aspects of grief.
Grieving can also be a very lonely experience. Some people keep their distance from those who have experienced a recent loss whilst others might not seem to understand the impact it has made. Sometimes it seems that everyone else has moved on in life, somehow leaving the grieving person behind. Talking with people who will listen and empathise can be helpful and often family and friends can provide this support. However, there can also be many reasons why someone might not be able to talk to the people around them and might want to share their feelings with a counsellor instead.
Bereavement & Loss
Bereavement may refer to the period of time following the death of a close relative or friend. Often words don't seem enough to describe how difficult this time can be. Adjusting to a world without a loved one might seem impossible. Whilst counselling can't make everything alright again, it can provide a space to express feelings, explore any unresolved conflict and find ways of coping with the changes that occur when someone dies.
Many other losses can cause us to grieve deeply. Some of these losses might not be recognised by other people which can make the grieving process more difficult and lonely. Sometimes we might not even be able to acknowledge grief to ourselves, perhaps thinking we should just be able to get on with it or that our loss isn't as bad as someone else's.
The following list isn't exhaustive but gives examples of some losses that can trigger grief responses.
Pregnancy Loss: Loss of a baby through miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth.
Empty nest experience - when children grow up and move away
Loss of relationships
Spiritual losses, loss of faith, loss of community, etc.
Loss of pets
Redundancy or retirement
Moving house or relocating
Loss of health, illness or injury
Counselling can be a helpful place to talk about any of the thoughts and emotions that can come up after any of these events. Sharing how you feel with a counsellor means you don't have to worry about being judged and can help if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about what is happening for you.