- Illness (Sudden or long term)
- Loss of Parent /Partner/ Child / Relative / Friend / pet
- Redundancy / Retirement
While each person will experience their own grieving process in their own unique way, several emotions are commonplace throughout the grieving process. Often these emotions cause us additional distress, and they include;
anger, shame, helplessness, sadness, relief, fear, lost, confused, guilty, loneliness, anxiety, blame, numbness, depression, vulnerability, pain, embarrassment, suicidal, and loss of identity.
How grief affects us
Grief and loss impacts all aspects of our physical & emotional well-being and can impair our daily lives. When grieving, we will experience some or all of the following symptoms:
Feelings (Anger, sadness, fatigue, anxiety, shock, relief etc)
Physical symptoms (tightness in chest/stomach/throat; emptiness or heaviness in stomach; oversensitive to noise, breathlessness, lack of energy, muscle weakness)
Thoughts (Disbelief, confusion, preoccupation, sense of presence, hallucinations etc)
Behaviours (Sleep/appetite disturbances; forgetful, crying, social withdrawal, avoiding reminders of the deceased, restless overactivity; visiting places/carrying objects relating to the deceased, dreams of the deceased (normal and distressing)
Our grief becomes a problem when;
- We feel “stuck” in our grief
- We may not recognize our feelings as grief
- We have unresolved feelings for the deceased
- Our grief is Interfering with every day life
What can I do?
Recognise your loss and allow yourself to grieve
Share what you’re going through – family, friends, counsellor, support group
- Wiliam Worden (2001) explains what he calls, the tasks of mourning, which are part of our grief process:
- Accept the reality of our loss
- Work through the pain of our grief
- Adjust to our environment in which the deceased is missing
- Emotionally relocate the deceased and move on with life
There are no time limits or time expectations upon which we experience or pass through each of the stages .
It is a process, stages we pass through and may revisit, as we heal, work through our grief and learn to live with our loss.
How counselling can help;
- 1-1 counselling support
- Non-judgmental environment
- Supportive as you work through the accompanying emotions and stages
- Confidential space to express your feelings and fears
- Referral to additional support services/resources