When people experience a loss, they will grieve in a way that is unique. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Feelings around a loss can be painful, intense, conflicting, and confusing. Although grief from a loss never goes away, the feelings lessen in intensity over time. People can be forever changed by a loss as it becomes a part of who they are moving forward. Counseling can help figure out exactly “where to put it” in order to move forward without a loved one.
Losses can be tangible or intangible. When a loved one dies, it is understood that there will be grieving, however when there is an intangible loss (empty nest, retirement, move, etc.), it may not be apparent that there is a loss and that one is experiencing grief.
Grief becomes a problem when…
- the intensity of feelings lasts longer than expected.
- there is little else the bereaved things about.
- there is difficulty accepting the loss.
- there are feelings of numbness, irritability, extreme guilt, bitterness, hopelessness which affects a bereaved’s ability to function.
- poor decisions are made out of grief.
- there are suicidal feelings, or feelings that life is not worth living without the loved one.
Counseling can help because most grieving people feel like they are not understood, and do not want to burden others. They do not talk about the deceased because they don’t want others to be reminded of the loss or feel that they have done that enough and friends no longer want to hear about it. They remain silent and secretive. In counseling, you can be as open as you wish about your thoughts and feelings. You can also learn ways to cope, ways to incorporate this experience into your life, ways to hang onto the lost relationship while moving on with a life that has meaning.
I am happy talk with you about whether counseling may be helpful to you following a loss.
If you are contemplating suicide, please call 911 or a hotline, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).