17th September 2021
When you experience a loss of some kind, it is assumed that you will feel certain emotions associated with grief. The common idea is that people go through five clear stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance – but this is not always the case. While these emotions do often occur, you may not experience all of them, nor do they happen in a linear fashion or during a particular time-frame. You may experience different feelings to the ones that are normally attributed to grief, and that is okay.
To give you a clearer understanding of this difficult subject ahead of receiving bereavement counselling in Harrogate or online, this blog walks you through a few of the emotions you might be feeling following a loss.
Depression is a natural response to grief and manifests itself in various ways. This could include feelings of lethargy, hopelessness, confusion, or an overall heaviness that prevents you from going about daily activities. It is an extremely common aspect of grief, and it can feel overwhelming. Managing these feelings alone is difficult, which is why bereavement counselling in Harrogate and online can serve as an important place to process these feelings and move past them.
Sometimes, the bottled-up emotion that follows a loss comes out as anger. This is a common way of hiding the pain that you carry. Many people struggle to articulate their emotions, and as a result it comes out as anger or resentment. It could be directed at all kinds of people in your life – friends, family, your ex, work colleagues, or even the person who died. The latter is often the case in the event of a suicide. This aspect of grief, although unpleasant for all involved, is a normal and understandable part of the long process of dealing with difficult emotions.
Guilt shows up frequently following the loss of a loved one. People will often feel like a bereavement is somehow their fault, that they could have done more somehow. In almost all cases, the death of a loved one is something you have no control over, but accepting this inability to influence a situation is not easy. We often place ourselves at the centre of a situation in order to make sense of it, even when it doesn’t involve us at all. Doing this is natural; it is a common response to the painful fact that we are bound to encounter difficult moments over which we have no control.
Sometimes, following a bereavement, a person will feel nothing at all. At a time when you are expected to be feeling all kinds of emotions, it can be difficult to confront the fact that you feel blank, but this phenomenon happens a great deal. It is evidence that painful emotions do not always show up immediately. You might feel normal for a year, or even 10 years, and then suddenly be besieged by difficult emotions a long time after the event itself. We all process losses in a different way, and during different time-frames. There is no right or wrong time to grieve, so don’t feel bad if you experience a dearth of emotion in the wake of a loss.
If a loved one has been ill for some time, you may feel like a weight has been lifted after their passing. The person may have been suffering, or you could have had a difficult relationship with them. We hold a great deal of pent-up emotion when having to look after a loved one who is ill, and when they do pass, that emotion gets released and manifests itself as relief. This kind of response happens often, and it does not mean you didn’t love or care for the person who has passed away.
If you are feeling any of the above emotions following the loss of a loved one, you might benefit from seeing a bereavement counsellor in Harrogate or online. Feel free to get in touch with me to ask any questions you may have about counselling.