Losing someone close to you can be one of the most difficult things you have had to cope with. We may need to process feelings that many of us will find overwhelming. Once the initial shock of a loved one passing away has subsided, we are often left with a sense of sadness, hurt and loss. It can feel so raw and devastating that getting through each day can prove a challenge.

It won’t feel like it at the time but what you are going through is a natural process. Your whole world may have been turned upside down by the passing of this person so it’s going to take time to process what’s happened and what the future may look like. Unfortunately, change happens whether we want it to or not, and what you are also processing is this change in your life. It might not be what you had planned, but it’s happened and now you are trying to deal with it. Don’t put yourself under pressure ‘to get over it’ because the grieving process doesn’t work like that. You may feel that the worst is behind you and you’re moving on, then all of a sudden, you’re swept away with a flood of emotions… that’s okay. That happens. You’re going through this process at your own pace and you’re trying to manage it the best way that you know how.

The Grieving Process

Some people try to break grief down into identifiable stages. This may be the case but keep in mind, grief isn’t a straightforward journey. You don’t hit milestones the further along the road you go. You may hit obstructions, you might feel lost, you may worry that you’re never going to reach where you want to get to. Just take your time.

Most of us will feel an initial shock or denial when a loved one passes away. Those horrible initial moments when you hear the news. This can be often followed by anger at feeling abandoned by the person or a sense of injustice towards your God or the universe for taking your loved one. Then comes the ‘what if’ stage, when you look back and reflect on all of times you think you should have said something, done something, that would have changed this somehow. As we battle with coming to terms with the situation and the emotions and feelings we may be going through, we may start to feel depressed. These are all natural thoughts and feelings. The grieving process is moving you to a place of acceptance. Acceptance is the last stage of the process but for most people it doesn’t come quickly or easily. We may feel fine one day and terrible the next. That’s okay. As I mentioned earlier on, this isn’t a straightforward journey. You will encounter bumps in the road that you will need to deal with.

You might encounter all of the stages of grief, or you might just encounter some. You might handle different stages a lot better than others, or it may take you more time to process the emotions you are feeling. You may have a day of looking back on the good times that you had with the person and smile, other days you may cry for hours. That’s okay. This is your journey. This is your grieving process. With time, patience, empathy and compassion your life will move on. It may not be how we wanted it or planned it to be, but you will find your balance again. Healing takes time. The person you have lost will always be a part of you and your life. You will have memories of the person and stories to tell. They helped shape part of your life and the feelings that you are going through is because they meant something to you. The grieving process is just helping you to move to a place of acceptance, understanding and peace.

Many of our clients who experienced working with a bereavement counsellor really helped them to get a better perspective on their life moving forward. Please wait for six to ten weeks before you consider entering into a bereavement counselling process.

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