Grief and Loss from losing a loved one may be one of the most difficult and emotional distressing times in your life. Grief after the death of someone you love is recognised as one of the most difficult experiences you can go through especially if you had a secure attachment with the person. Coping though grief and loss is different for each person you may feel different to others and grieve in your own special and unique way.
There is no time frame with the grieving process and others may not understand your continued crying or long period of sadness. You may cry a lot and feel sadness or despair at different times of the day. You may feel anger, shame, guilt or even feel shocked or numb if it was sooner than expected and depending on the circumstances of the death.
Sometimes a violent or traumatic death of a person may make you feel distressed for a long period of time. You may feel very distressed if you experience multiple losses or if you are not sure if you’re loved one is alive. You may also suffer grief and loss when you have a terminal illness or other illness, lose a body part or a function, lose a pet or lose of have to give up your job. You may have something else that is important to you that cause you grief or loss,
There are also times when people may feel a deep sense of relief when the person may be over their suffering and pain.
The five stages of Grief and Loss that most people know about are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Using the latest research and practices it has been found that there is no grief order of process and the phases of grief experience may be normal as you move back and forward through accepting the loss, working through the pain of grief, adjusting to life without the deceased and finding a meaningful connection with the deceased.
Phases of Grief
Task 1 – To Accept the Reality of the Loss
The first task helps you as the client to accept the loss of the person, who is gone, and will not return and understand a re-union is impossible in this life. Acceptance of the loss can be complicated as personal needs are required to emotionally accept the loss.
Task 2 – To Process the Pain of Grief
The second task helps you to acknowledge unbearable pain that is physical, emotional and behavioural. The experience of pain will be different for everybody and we are often not prepared for the level of deep pain that we may suffer. Some people may be uncomfortable with your mourning feelings and tell you to “move on. This may make you feel depressed and you may not feel your pain and may deny the pain and focus on other things.
Task 3 – To Adjust to a World without the Deceased
The third task helps you to adjust to life without the deceased. The areas that may need to be addressed are external and internal adjustments. The external adjustment is when a person suffers a loss and their role immediately changes, the bereaved needs to adjust to not looking after the other person. The internal adjustment is the effect of the loss or death on your self-identity and you need to find a new purpose in life. The grieving process does involve letting go of part of our identity.
Task 4 – To Find an Enduring Connection with the Deceased in the Midst of Embarking on a New Life
The fourth task is commencing a new life with an ongoing meaningful connection to the deceased. This assists with the grief process by recognising disenfranchised grief and when death is not acknowledged by other people and you grieve alone because society or other are is not accepting of your loss. The loss of another person may not be socially accepted, meaning that the person and those around them act as if no loss has occurred. This may be extremely distressing for the person who has suffered the loss.
You may move in and out of these tasks of grief at different times. Bereavement and feelings of separation may cause you to feel alone in particular at night time when other people may not be around to talk to. We all experience loss as some point in our life and the support we have around us may determine how we cope with the impact and adjust to our changed life. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
When you grief for an extended and long period of time you may be suffering with complex bereavement or complicated grief and this may feel like you are in crisis. You may have support from family and friends however feel you are unable to lead your normal life and may have feelings each day of a deep sadness and may not be caring for yourself. You may not be eating, sleeping or socialising and may even be using substances excessively. When this happens you may feel really alone and in a dark place and not have someone to talk to about your concerns. You may still find it extremely difficult to talk about the person you have lost.
You may decide at this time that you will seek extra support through a professional grief therapist who has lived experience. Talking about the loss may cause you intense pain and you may cry a lot as you go through the experience of the person you have lost. We are here to provide a sympathetic ear and help you to cope through the grief process and find new meaning in your life. We will provide you a supportive space and care for you when your emotions are most painful.