Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult and harrowing experiences to cope with in life. Bereavement can affect people in any number of ways.
If you’re in Surrey, local specialist bereavement counselling can help you to discover coping mechanisms and gain reassurance following the loss of a loved one. After a loss you may experience several stages of bereavement, such as denial, anger, wishing it could be otherwise, depression, and acceptance. Being able to talk through whatever you’re feeling and experiencing with a bereavement counsellor, and to be heard without judgement or criticism can be enormously healing. Your counsellor is there to help guide you to the coping mechanisms that will deal with your individual situation.
It’s important to be kind to yourself. Some people may find that it’s easy to move on, however others may find it more of a struggle to carry on with life and find inner peace. Bereavement counselling will gently help to guide you following your loss. There are five stages of bereavement that most people experience. Sometimes, people move through them sequentially, and others may skip a stage, then return to an earlier stage before moving forward again; it is different for everyone. An experienced counsellor will help you to recognise how bereavement is affecting your life and show you ways to deal with your feelings.
Even if you know that someone is incredibly poorly and close to the end of their life, it can be difficult to prepare yourself for their death. The shock that can be experienced after the loss of a loved one can have a huge impact on your life and your family and is totally understandable.
When you experience the loss of someone very close to you, your pain and grief may be felt can be felt in many different ways, both emotionally and physically. This will be entirely individual, often with different family members experiencing different emotions. Some people may cry for days, some may become completely withdrawn, and many will have strong feelings of anger to manage.
3. Bargaining – wishing it were otherwise
So much can happen so quickly in the days, weeks, and months before your loved one dies. There are often many decisions and adjustments to be made (sometimes very quickly), emotions can be high, and thinking not always at its sharpest. However, in the time after your loved one’s death, there can be all too much time for reflection, and it’s very easy to say to yourself: “if only we had sought a second opinion…”, “if only the doctor had…”, if only the doctor hadn’t…, “if only I had said…” Whether you’ve lost a lifelong partner or someone not quite so close, the loss of that relationship is certain to have left a void in your life. As you deal with the emotions following their loss, you are likely to find that you may need to find ways to adjust. This is all perfectly normal, albeit incredibly unsettling. Talking through your feelings with a counsellor can be very therapeutic; helping you to explore how you’re feeling and how to deal with your emotions.
People who have been bereaved often find that they are so upset that they can’t sleep, or can’t get out of bed in the mornings, that they lose all motivation to look after themselves or others. Whilst depression can be a natural part of grief, it can be worrying and you may find it helpful to talk these feelings through with an independent counsellor who is able to reassure you and help you move through this stage of bereavement.
If you have just lost a loved one, the idea of life going on as normal may seem a far-off thought. Your loved one will always remain a part of you, but over time you will find that your life grows around your memories, that you find some inner calm despite your grief, and are able to move forward in your life.