Without fail, everyone who comes to see me after the loss of a loved one tells me they have had so many different messages about how they should be behaving and how to cope.
I have found that in my own experience.
In the wake of my mother’s death, I tried to talk to my siblings about her and how I was missing her and their response was to tell me I needed to “see someone”. A year later, one of my siblings contacted me by email and told me he missed her. By that time I didn’t miss her any more. I guess I could have suggested he “see someone”. I just didn’t reply. I didn’t feel my response would have been polite. Grief is hard to deal with and can cause friction between all those grieving the loss of a particular person.
I have lost count of the number of people referred to me by their GP in the weeks following the loss. In their referrals they describe the understandable grief as “pathological”. They also suggest the use of anti depressants!
Although grief counselling can be helpful. There is no obligation to see anyone about your grief. If you want to talk to someone who understands grief, will reassure you that you are not going mad and is objective then counselling is great. But you don’t have to.
Acute grief, those early days, weeks, months after a loss is painful. It hurts. Nothing is going to help that. Only time.
Many people who come to see me think there is something wrong with them. They are receiving so many messages from others that they wonder if they have something wrong with them.
Messages you may receive from others about your Grief
Messages such as:
• The funeral is over, you should be over it
• It is wrong to sit at home and not go out, you should be getting on with life
• You should be over the tears by now
• You shouldn’t cry in public, it upsets people
• You need anti depressants
• You should be crying all the time, you obviously are not crying enough
• You shouldn’t want to go back to work now
• You should go back to work now
• You shouldn’t be going out so much, you are not spending enough time grieving (whatever they think it looks like)
• Your unstable emotions have nothing to do with grief, you need to get help
• Your anger, difficulty forming thoughts, difficulty doing things, feeling that your loved one is there, and so on, are problems. You need to get help
• You should be glad their suffering is over/you can have another child/you can find another partner.
There are many more, but these are the most common ones I have encountered.
Everyone’s grief is different. Even if you are grieving for the same person, you will grieve differently.
The way you work through that grief is as individual as you are.
You need to find what helps you. What helped a friend may or may not help you. Try their suggestions if you want to, or decide not to. Either way, you will find your own way of grieving.
When should you see a Grief Counsellor?
• Because you want to.
• You want someone objective to talk to
• You are seeking reassurance you are not going mad
• You want to know what is right for you
• You want a witness to your feelings, one who will not judge or jump in with their own opinion
• You feel you need help
• You feel the way you are coping with grief is not healthy or helpful
• You have been grieving for a long time and you feel you may be stuck and want help to move forward
• You would like to learn some coping skills.
Can I Help?
If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your grief, please contact me on 0409396608 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz