Loss, Grief & Bereavement

Loss is a part of our life.  As change occurs, so too will loss.  This loss can come in so many different shapes and forms, from the ‘hit by a bus’ type, to more subtle losses.  Clearly, the death of a loved one constitutes one of the greatest losses we will ever experience.  Hand in hand with this loss comes loss in our relationships, our assumptions, our identity, our hopes and so forth.  Recognising these losses is one of our first important tasks, followed by acknowledging them and having someone witness your loss.

With these multifaceted losses comes a reaction, or sets of reactions.  This is called grief.  Our grief reactions are as unique as we are.  Reducing these reactions to stages or tasks over simplified what occurs for each of us.  Again, as with loss, we need to learn about our grief reactions – recognise them when they come, and know that – ‘ah, this is the grief’.

In grief counselling, both of these elements of recognising and acknowledging the many layers of loss and learning to get to know your unique grief reactions is addressed.  Counselling can provide a space and a process to both experience the loss more fully and learn to adjust and integrate it into your life and self.  Healing can take place.

For some people, their loss and grief intermingles with other previous or current life difficulties, and may become ‘complicated’.  This is especially the case with those of you who have experienced traumatic losses.  Research suggests that it is when this grief becomes ‘derailed’ or chronic that therapy can be particularly helpful.

Maybe you might just like to ask some questions about what I’ve described above?  Please, don’t hesitate to telephone or email me if so.  Please also remember that you are not going crazy, even though it may feel like it.  You are also not alone, as there are thousands of other people around you who are also grieving and experiencing a range of things because of this grief: isolating themselves, low energy, unable to think straight, not able to stop the tears, insomnia – and most noticeably this ache of longing for the person who has died.  We need to re-orientate ourselves again into a new picture of the world and our self.