Do You Feel Swallowed Up By Grief?
Grief Counseling Can Help.
Are you struggling to heal and recover after losing a loved one? Do you find yourself crying often, sleeping too much or too little or feeling overwhelmed by guilt, anger or anxiety? Perhaps you lost someone who was battling an illness and although you knew death was near, have realized how unprepared you are to handle your grief. Or, maybe you lost a loved one suddenly though a suicide or accident and are struggling to make sense of an untimely loss. Has your loss caused you to question the purpose of life and the meaning of death? Do you vacillate between feelings of acceptance and denial that what occurred is in fact real? Do you wish you could find a way to move through your grief and find life meaningful and joyful again?
Losing a loved one can be a heart wrenching, isolating and deeply confusing experience. One moment you may feel numb and detached from the world around you. A moment later you might feel overwhelmed with intense, uncontrollable emotions. It can be challenging to stay present with the people around you and focus on the tasks at hand. Your mind might be a jumble of thoughts about what you did or didn’t say before your loved one passed, and your heart might feel heavy, lonely and lost. Crushing thoughts or feelings may have you reaching for drugs, alcohol, food or other vices to curb or numb your pain. And, while you might realize that these forms of coping are unhealthy and not sustainable, any kind of relief might seem preferable to your pain. Whether or not you knew death was coming or if it came fast and without warning, losing someone you love is never easy. Grief can impact all aspects of your life and even cause you to question the point of life itself.
Grief Is A Process To Be Lived Through
The only thing certain in life is death. And, while death is a natural consequence of being human and we’ll all bump up against our own mortality one day, losing a loved one rarely comes without pain. The grief experience is different for everyone; however, few of us are able to navigate it without feelings of guilt, anger or sadness. We all grieve it in our own time, and some of us need longer than others to process difficult feelings and come to a place of acceptance. Society can often compound the grieving process. We’re often told that we should process our grief in a certain way and within a certain period of time. But, these societal beliefs rarely hold up in our grieving hearts.
The good news is that you don’t have to be alone in your pain. If you feel isolated in your grief and are struggling to engage with others, function normally and make it through a day without tears, grief counseling can help. An experienced and compassionate therapist can help you navigate difficult emotions, better understand your grief and offer you support as you move through this challenging experience.
Grief Counseling Can Provide You With Support, Guidance And Relief
What you’ll immediately learn in grief counseling is that what you’re experiencing is completely normal. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and your thoughts and feelings – no matter how shameful, angry or guilt-ridden they might be – are okay. Grief is a normal human process, and with help, you can find your way back to a happier place.
In grief counseling sessions, your Dr. Dori Gatter and Associates grief counselor will create a warm, safe and nonjudgmental space for you to begin processing your experience and grief. You can express and explore any and all thoughts and feelings you may be harboring – even unresolved ones that you never had the chance to share with your late loved one. While the idea of sharing painful emotions might now seem like an overwhelming task, often the release of feelings is followed by a calming sense of relief. Your therapist can also support you in investigating and conveying feelings you might have about the bigger questions of life, especially if your loved one’s death was abrupt, traumatic or senseless. Together, you can explore the confusion, frustration and pain that your significant loss has created so you can work through difficult emotions, better understand your experience and come to a place of acceptance.
In sessions, you’ll also be able to develop a new sense of self. Your therapist can help you strengthen key aspects of yourself as well as your connections with others. You can explore who you are now without your loved one in your life. Through sharing experience, developing a mindfulness practice and learning healthy, effective ways to cope, you can embrace who you are now, begin living in the present, honor your relationship with your lost loved one and recognize that it’s okay to let go.
With the guidance and support of an experienced, compassionate therapist, you can adjust to life without the physical presence of your loved one. You can feel more present and find meaning in life. You can recognize that you are not alone in your grief, embrace support and strengthen your relationships with others. Your pain will subside with time, and with help you can create the space to heal and enjoy your life again.
While you might believe that you need support during this challenging time, you still may have questions or concerns about grief counseling…
I feel like I should be able to get over this on my own.
While grief often pulls us into a self-isolating space, I invite you to consider that you just lost someone significant and that it is okay to ask for support as your navigate your pain. Grief counseling offers you a safe place to identify, express and simply be with your feelings. It’s a place where you can let go and give yourself permission to express anything and everything that comes up for you. And, in taking care of yourself, you become more available to support those around you.
How long will grief counseling take?
The length of grief counseling is really up to you. The experience is different for everyone and it really depends on what you need and want out of therapy. You can take it one session at a time. You may just need a few sessions to help you cope or you may decide that you’d like to engage in ongoing therapy to explore the deeper issues related to your loss. Ultimately, this experience is yours and you decide how much support and guidance you need.
I’m afraid that grief counseling will make my loss seem all the more real and that I’ll feel even worse.
When in grief, it’s common to want to block out feelings. However, in order to get back to experiencing aliveness, you need feel all your feelings – even the hard ones. And, in grief counseling, you will not be alone. Your therapist will meet your where you are emotionally and you set the pace of the sessions. It’s up to you when and how much you share. If talking about your loss is too painful at first, you and your therapist can work on other issues in your life and you can learn healthier ways to cope and mitigate painful feelings. Again, this is your experience and it’s up to you to determine what kind of support you need.
You Can Find Relief, Joy And Meaning In Life Again
We invite you to call our office for a free 15-minute phone consultation. We’re happy to discuss your specific situation and to answer any questions you have about grief counseling and our practice.