Grief and Loss 

Experiences of grief and loss touch all of us at some point. Through counseling we can begin to feel whole even in the midst of tremendous upheaval.

“It takes strength to make your way through grief. To grab onto life and let it pull you forward”- Patti Davis

 

Grieving is a process of learning how to live in a changed world, where nothing is quite as it used to be. Although grieving the death of someone is a normal reaction, at times grief can feel insurmountably painful, overwhelming, and exhausting. In these moments everything can feel a little darker, like a hole has swallowed you up. Beginning to understand your grieving experience, and taking gradual steps to address your pain and loss, can be important and integral components of recovering from your grief. Whether you feel you’re just in need of some support to get through a painful moment or you feel so lost you are sure you will never get through this, talking to someone can help. The experience of processing grief and loss is unique to everyone, but there is no need to go through the pain in isolation. There is no easy way to get over grief, but there can be less painful paths through.

Sudden Loss
Anticipated Grief and Loss
Complicated Grief and Loss
Long Term Grief and Loss

WHAT IS GRIEF?

Grief refers to your reactions to any form of loss, which can range from a deep sadness to anger, guilt, yearning, regret and a sense of relief.

Grief is the uncontrollable and natural reaction to the death of someone to whom you feel strongly about. Your relationship may have felt like one based on love and respect, or it could have left less secure and more  conflicted. Either way, when you feel connected to someone, you will experience grief after their death.

WHY DO WE GET STUCK IN THE GRIEVING PROCESS?

     Even though grieving is a natural process that includes a variety of coping styles, responses and timelines for healing, approximately 10% of the population suffers from grief experiences that seem to last on and on. These symptoms, that sometimes last years following the loss, include intense yearning and longing for what or who you lost; preoccupation with the circumstances of the loss; intrusive thoughts and images; intense guilt; an overriding sense of disbelief; and, a painful inability to find life meaningful in any significant manner. Through therapy you can learn to love again and return to a more meaningful investment in life in spite of the loss.

HOW TO HANDLE THE EARLY STAGES OF GRIEF AND LOSS

When you are feeling intense grief it is important to prioritize your own care. This can be difficult in life but it is the first step to getting you to a place of healing.  Get plenty of sleep, healthy food, moderate exercise, and other kinds of self care.

Go easy on your self. It is natural to be hard on yourself when you are grieving, but just think of what you are going through, and how you would treat a friend in the same situation. What can you do to show yourself love and caring during this difficult time.

Try to surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Choose the people who you interact and share with wisely. Not everyone will make the cut, and you may need to limit time around people that are not supportive. If you have a hard time finding the right people or need more supportive people attending a grief support group can be helpful.

Honor your grief. Some people try to stay busy, but the only way out is through. Try to find a balance between turning into your grief, and taking a break from it. But, more then anything, be kind to yourself.

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