GRIEF AND LOSS

“The pain of grief is just as much part of life as the joy of love: it is perhaps the price we pay for love, the cost of commitment. To ignore this fact, or to pretend that it is not so, is to put on emotional blinkers which leave us unprepared for the losses that will inevitably occur in our own lives and unprepared to help others cope with losses in theirs.”

- Dr Colin Murray Parkes

 

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Grief is a complicated experience that can often involve feelings of despair, anger, numbness, and anxiety. Along with these difficult, though expected emotions, many of us also have moments of hope, relief, or peace in the wave of their losses, which can become a source of guilt and shame for us. Because these reactions are talked about less often and can carry a stigma with them, we don't realize how normal and frequent they are for many who are grieving. It can be isolating to carry so many feelings at once, especially when we fear judgment from those around us if we honestly share our thoughts and feelings when we reach out to them for support.  

 

Everyone’s bereavement process is personal and the journey before them is highly individualized. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t others that can relate to parts of our experience, rather it highlights how there is no right or wrong way to allow ourselves to grieve. Two people can lose the same type of person, relationship, or thing and have two vastly different responses. This is because sometimes a loss can be about so much more than what others can objectively see. Invisible loses, that can come with those others more clearly see can include loss of security, hope, opportunities, trust, memories, abilities, or identities.

 

I can help you by holding a safe, supportive space where you can acknowledge the depth of your grief, allowing you to better understand the reasons you carry your loss with you the way you do. Then, we work together to find ways you can express that grief, honor what you no longer have (in the way you used to have it or hope for it), and decide how you want to move forward in your changed life.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler