Bereavement and grief are natural and normal emotions. They are the physical, emotional, psychological, and/or spiritual reactions to loss. We tend to feel grief after the loss of a loved one or something precious. It is important to remember that there is no right way to grieve, nor is there an accepted model or length for grief. In fact, the once celebrated “Five Stages of Grief” are wrong and not supported by fact. This is because bereavement is an entirely personal experience and will vary for everyone.
Grief can occur due to many different reasons. These include:
- Health conditions
- Relationship issues
- Relationship break ups
- Loss of independence
- Natural disasters
But it is important to remember that bereavement can occur due to positive changes in your life, including:
- Starting school
- Gaining independence
For many, grief can be handled in their own time with the support of friends and family. Loneliness and seeking isolation is a common reaction to grief and it is recommended that you take time for yourself during these times. It is also not uncommon to experience feelings of anger, hopelessness or helplessness, despair, insomnia, fatigue, nausea, headaches, loss of appetite, aches and pains, depression, detachment, anxiety, irritability and even vomiting in reaction to grief.
It takes time to process and heal after a period of loss. Further, grief can come and go sporadically with different intensities until you have full processed and are ready to move on.
When to Seek Bereavement Counselling?
While grief and bereavement do not always require counselling, there are instances when it can be helpful to seek professional help. You should seek Bereavement Counselling if:
- You are turning to alcohol or drugs to suppress our grief
- Intrusive thoughts of the loss hamper day to day life
- If you are having thoughts of death and suicide
- Symptoms like anxiety, depression, despair, detachment etc. are excessive and intrusive to your life
Bereavement Counselling is a form of psychotherapy that focuses not on erasing grief but making it liveable. Grief is not a unique mental disorder but a combination of many. As a result, it can complicate our efforts to move on. Further, it can be damaging if not worked through or resolved. Bereavement Counselling teaches us to sit and actively deal with the feelings associated with loss. This treatment via support helps us acknowledge pain, anger and depression, and accept that these feelings will not last forever.
Bereavement Counselling focuses on mindfulness, teaching us how to process and heal from negative and intrusive thoughts. With time, pain does settle and bereavement counselling can help you on this journey.
If you or a loved one are suffering from a recent loss or change in circumstances, contact Creative Healing today to find out more about our Bereavement Counselling services and workshops.