Grief & Bereavement Counseling
Grief is a normal reaction to any kind of loss. Bereavement is our reaction to the loss of someone we love. In mourning such a loss, we can experience many emotions–fear, anxiety, anger, deep sadness, painful depression, frustration, at times guilt, even suicidal feelings. We may have physical reactions like headaches, gastrointestinal distress, appetite loss, difficulty sleeping, weakness, tiredness, loss of motivation, feelings of detachment and estrangement from others. All of these are normal in mourning. And it is also normal not to have such feelings; depending on one’s background, beliefs, relationship to the loved one who has passed, the length and nature of an illness or injury before the death, people’s reactions vary tremendously.
Grief counseling can help a person mourn, give support and comfort, and provide ways of expressing and relieving the pain of loss. A grieving person with many life responsibilities may have little opportunity for time to grieve. Grief counseling also provides acceptance of continued mourning, which is often important. Others around a bereaved person sometimes become impatient, or try to help the person “get over it” before the person is able to move beyond grieving.
A grief counselor can also help a person avoid the dangers that can come with bereavement. Sometimes a person is not equipped to handle that much pain, and so turns to harmful behaviors, excessively risky actions, substance abuse, even suicidal behavior. A grief counselor can help keep someone safe through grieving, and when appropriate encourage considering medications to help with sleep, anxiety, or depression. When the bereaved person is ready, a grief counselor can help support whatever life changes need to be made to adapt to the loss and engage fully again in living.