26th October 2021
When a loved one passes away, it might feel impossible to stay connected to them. But as an experienced bereavement counsellor in Harrogate and online, I have seen that our relationships with people endure – and change – even when they are no longer with us. In this blog post, then, we will walk through a few different ways that people relate to loved ones who have passed away.
We Become More Honest
When someone passes away, it can perhaps feel like there is no way to say what you always wanted to say to them. It is common to have some unfinished emotional business. Speaking the truth to people can be difficult when they are standing in front of you. It may be that they were unwilling to listen to us talk about important emotional matters. And so, when they pass away, we do not necessarily have to keep those pent-up feelings trapped inside; we can communicate them, unfiltered, to that person, in the way we always wanted to. This can be done in different ways, but the important point is that bereavement can actually create a window for brutal honesty, for getting out what needs to be said. Letting those honest feelings out in the open gives us an important feeling of closure, and I am here to help you do this.
Sometimes, when we lose someone, the main feeling towards that individual is resentment. This is a common way of processing grief and can happen for a number of reasons. And it is particularly relevant when a loved one takes their own life: we can find ourselves berating them for doing something so “stupid”, and so on. When a loss occurs, anger is an emotion that frequently shows up, as this is a standard way of unconsciously showing pain that you have bottled up inside. Resentment, therefore, can be a common feature of the early stages of grief, and may endure for some time.
Building a Memory Picture
You might lose someone who you never really liked, like a bad father or a sibling you hadn’t spoken to in years. And at first, we will be left with an extremely negative memory picture, giving us discomfort whenever we are reminded of them. However, as I have seen before as a bereavement counsellor in Harrogate and online, this memory picture can change over time. We might find ourselves looking more closely at the deceased’s life – how they were when they were younger, for example, or certain things we did with them that we hadn’t thought about for a while. And eventually, a more accurate, less emotionally-charged memory picture can emerge, giving us a clearer portrait of the person who has passed.
It may be that, following the death of a loved one, you stop having any relationship with them at all. While many like to preserve the memory of someone through objects, anniversaries, and certain activities, some people may detach themselves entirely from the person who has died. This happens often – either very quickly or after a prolonged period. For some people, the best thing they can do for their mental wellbeing is to move on, rather than dwell on what has happened before.
Are you experiencing challenging feelings towards a loved one who has recently passed away? Bereavement counselling in Harrogate and online can be a helpful way to process these difficult emotions. Feel free to get in touch and arrange an initial free consultation call.