While death and loss are inevitable part of life, the process of letting go and healing after a significant loss can be complicated and painful. Someone that you had an attachment to is no longer there, and with that can come with a loss of part of the self as well.
Loss can also challenge our sense of control or security in life, leading to feelings of helplessness, aloneness, and despair. Because these feelings are so painful, it can be tempted to avoid, suppress, or deny their existence altogether. However, in order to move through the loss and adapt to a life that will be different moving forward, the hurt needs to be felt and learned about so it can be moved through.
Other factors that can complicate loss are the nature of the death. When someone’s passing was sudden or violent, there may be other layers of emotions such as shock or rage that need to be processed in order to grieve. If the relationship with the deceased was complicated or abusive, bereavement can be complicated by the mixed feelings towards the person that has passed.
Counselling provides a space where safety and trust is established so you can face the many conflicting feelings that loss brings about and not feel alone in that experience. The ability to cope is often compromised by the destabilization that comes with loss, so new ways of dealing with emotions and memories can be integrated to increase one’s sense of strength and resiliency. Other processes, such as forgiveness, may need to take place before letting go is possible. Counsellors take care to hear you from a place of compassionate and facilitate the healing that needs to take place for you to live a meaningful life after a significant loss.
Humphrey, G. D. & Zimpfer, D. G. (2008). Counselling for grief and bereavement [2nd ed.].
London: SAGE Publications.
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