Grief counselling is a therapeutic process that helps people who have experienced a major loss in their lives.
The loss of a loved one, whether it is through natural or accidental death, the end of a relationship or divorce, the demise of a pet, or the loss of something important or dear to us, leads to the very human emotion of grief.For the majority of people, the grieving process may take anywhere from a few months to a few years. They rebound and find love again. They do not forget whom they’ve lost, and eventually move forward with their lives.
There are some of us who never fully recover from our loss, our sense of hopelessness and loneliness leads us into a prolonged period of deep sadness. And for some, this may eventually lead to depression. You may have friends who have turned to alcohol or drugs to overcome their loneliness, pushing aside and ignoring remaining family members and loved ones.
Grief is a multi-faceted emotion, and it could include various shades of the following:
Disbelief, horror and numbness
“I can’t believe this happened to me! Why me?!”
“I don’t believe this is happening to me. No, it’s not true! She’ll be back.”
“I hate my life without you!”
Shame and guilt
“If only I had been a better wife or husband.”
“How could you leave me?”
“If I do such and such, God, would you let him back?”
and finally, Acceptance
“I can resume my life, without feeling so bad about my loss.”
Can counselling help with grief? Yes, counselling can most certainly help. Counselling is a calming and gentle process, that takes both the client and the therapist through a healing journey, helping you to understand and accept life without the one you’ve lost.
Your grief therapist will help you to find areas in your life that are meaningful, and perhaps even find new ways of being, that is joyful in a way that is different from the joy you knew before.
Grief counselling is a process during which you may come to realise that your new reality is worthwhile and meaningful, and that moving on with life does not take away or minimize the memories that you’ve created with the one you lost.
Grief counselling may also help you, as a part of the healing process, to come up with new ways to honour the one you lost. And as a result, you’ve transcended your sorrow, and end up helping others (for example, hosting a fundraiser for cancer research) in the name of your loved one.
Feel better today
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Read Ashley Wan’s article Grieving the Loss of a Loved One during a Pandemic