As a counsellor, I have worked with many clients experiencing bereavement, grief and loss. In my early years as a counsellor, I worked as a volunteer counsellor at two bereavement counselling services located in North Yorkshire. In addition, I worked for three years with a Leeds based charity providing emotional support to bereaved carers.
It is perhaps inevitable that we will all, at some stage in life, experience the death of someone close. I know from my own personal experiences of significant bereavement, the death of a loved one can be incredibly painful. The death of someone close can leave us feeling utterly devastated and overwhelmed with emotion or for some people an absence of emotion, turning our world completely upside down. It may feel like we have been thrown into a sea of fluctuating feelings and emotions. Perhaps your way of coping with the death of a loved one is to continue your life as ‘normal’. There is no right or wrong way to grieve for a person who has died. We all find our own unique individual way to grieve.
Grief feelings are not exclusive to the death of a loved one, we can also experience similar feelings with other losses in life. For example: Divorce or relationship breakdown, miscarriage, death of a pet, redundancy, loss of financial security, loss of independence through health and retirement
“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison
As a counsellor I recognise we all need time to adjust after a loss and counselling should not be accessed too early. However, if after a period of time you are continuing to struggle with grief feelings and emotions following the death of a loved one or other significant life loss and want to understand your feelings and emotions and learn how to adjust in life, feel free to get in touch.
Grief feelings are ‘normal’ responses following a bereavement or loss. How we respond to the death of someone important in our lives or other life losses we might experience differ from person to person.
Some of the grief feelings and experiences you may be dealing with may include:
Having to cope with the reactions of others
Lack of meaning and purpose in life
Changed sleep patterns
Difficulties in concentrating
Changes in eating patterns
Bereavement counselling can give you the space to share your story about the person who has died. As a counsellor, I am committed to providing counselling in a supportive, safe, confidential and non-judgemental space.
I will work with you to explore your thoughts and feelings for the person that has died or other significant life losses, enabling you to acquire a deeper understanding of your grief feelings and learn how to begin to adjust to a life of change at a pace that feels right for you.
Grief is not something that can be fixed or pushed away. It can take time to adjust to the loss of a loved one. How long it takes to adjust to a loss varies from individual to individual. For some it may take months, even years; for others, it could be a few days or weeks.
This BBC Like Minds film, Why grief is not something you have to ‘get over’, says that grief is not something you have to ‘get over’, you just learn to live with it as part of your life.