Understanding grief and loss
- Grief can affect anyone for a variety of reasons, usually related to loss
- We all grieve and respond to losses differently
- Grief can take time, but help is available
- The highly trained and experienced psychologists at Seed Psychology can help you through your grieving process
What is grief and loss?
Grief following a loss is entirely natural and normal. Everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Feelings of guilt or shame for not responding to loss the way we feel we should tend to make us feel worse.
It is important to allow yourself to feel and express your emotions, whether to a close friend, family member or mental health professional. You don’t need to respond in a particular way, or within any timeframe.
Grief is most commonly experienced following the loss of a person with whom you held a close relationship, such as a family member or friend. However, you can also experience grief after losing anything important to you, including a job, good health, a home, a pet, a pregnancy, a friendship or lifestyle.
When you are experiencing grief, you may have strong feelings of sadness, stress, anger, shock, guilt, denial, numbness or detachment. Reactions to grief might differ from person to person, as feelings and expressions of grief are heavily influenced by your cultural background, gender, beliefs, and personality. People generally recover from the symptoms of grief more quickly by sharing their thoughts and feelings with others. In most cases, with the support of your family and friends, your feelings of grief and sadness will diminish over time.
Other things you can do to cope with grief and loss:
- Join a support group. Talking to others with similar experiences can be enormously helpful and powerful.
- Maintain physical health. Grieving can take a physical, as well as emotional, toll.
- Try to engage in activities you usually enjoy, even if they feel difficult or unimportant. They will help you maintain a sense of normalcy and continuity.
- Keep a journal. Writing down your memories, thoughts and feelings can be valuable in the grieving process and provide another emotional outlet. Some people find it comforting to document the changing nature of their grief.
- Most importantly, allow yourself to express your grief in whatever form it takes.
How can grief and loss counselling help me?
Your feelings of grief and loss can be particularly intense and long-lasting if you have pre-existing mental health difficulties, such as anxiety or depression. The circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one can contribute to intense feelings of grief, particularly if it was a distressing or unexpected death. This is also true of other traumatic events, such as a sudden job loss.
You don’t need to work through grief alone. You may feel that you will never be able to recover from your grief or cope with the difficulties of daily life. In these instances, you may greatly benefit from treatment with one of our psychologists. Our highly trained and experienced psychologists can help you to move through the stages of grief and learn new skills and strategies to accept and deal with your loss, while moving forward with your life.
Grieving can take time. However, if you or someone you know feel overwhelmed by prolonged grief, you may benefit from seeking professional help.
At Seed Psychology, our psychologists are highly trained and experienced with grief and loss counselling. We can help you through the grieving process, toward regaining your health and wellbeing.