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“I want them to see a mother who loves them dearly, who invests in them, but who also invests in herself.”
Did you lose something and someone important to you? Are you going through a major life transition or identity change? Did you recently experience a trauma that took away your sense of physical, emotional, or financial safety? Are you anticipating a loss that is coming? Do you feel stuck in grief for a loss that happened years ago?
You may not have the closure that you need to move on. You might be pretending that you are ok because you don’t want to feel like a burden on others. Maybe you feel detached, aloof, unemotional and guarded because you do not trust others not to hurt you again. You might be withdrawing from your loved ones, pulling the curtains closed in your home and in your heart. You might be so devastated by this loss that you are wondering how you will keep on living, who you are afterward, and whether you will ever enjoy life again.
People around you might not know how to comfort you. They may feel at a loss for words, uncomfortable with your emotions, or cannot relate to the significance of your loss. They may try to help by telling you that you are strong or try to cheer you up but unintentionally dismissing your reality. You may not have a community and support network to turn to in this moment of grief with whom you feel safe and understood. Perhaps you are afraid of people around you blaming you for your loss or judging you for not “getting over it.” You may have noticed your friends and family feeling compassion fatigued for providing support for a long time and can no longer do so.
If you are experiencing persistent and intense feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, guilt, avoidance, dissociation, anger, meaninglessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness after a loss, you can benefit from extra help and support. If you are struggling to function in your daily life and care for yourself, therapy may be necessary. Grief counseling can help you cope with the pain, soothe your emotions, accept the loss, find meaning in the experience, and move on with your life with a renewed sense of yourself. Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with us to see if one of our skilled grief counselors can be a good match for you.
The death of a loved one is one of the main causes of grief and loss and can be one of the most painful experiences in life. In addition, other types of major life events, transitions, and traumas can also trigger grief and loss. The following are some examples:
Loss can be complex and compounded by other factors. For example, losing a parent may mean that you will also need to deal with practical and financial matters related to their death, which may trigger other family dynamics. Losing a marriage may mean that you will need to redefine yourself as a single person again or a single parent. Infertility may mean that you lost the hopes and dreams of becoming a parent or having a biological family. Losing a loved one to suicide may come with stigma and shame associated with their death, which may make it difficult to talk about it and seek support. If you are going through a major life transition such as college graduation, marriage, or having a baby that seems positive, you might be surprised and confused by your feelings of grief. You may find yourself grieving with every anniversary and milestone that reminds you of your loss when you thought you have moved on. Collective trauma such as policity brutality, economic crisis, global pandemic, mass shootings, or war may trigger feelings of grief even if you are not directly impacted.
Some symptoms that you may experience in the grieving process may include:
Shock and Disbelief. You may feel numb, overwhelmed, dissociated and have a hard time processing the loss. You may feel like you are in a nightmare just waiting to wake up. If you lost a loved one or a pet, you may forget sometimes that they are gone and expect them to walk through the door.
Anger. You may feel enraged by the loss, especially if it was one that could have been prevented. You may feel that the loss was unfair and unjust. You may be angry with God, other people, the person or thing that you lost, and yourself.
Guilt and Shame. You may feel guilt and regret for the things that you did or didn’t do. You may feel guilty for the way that you are feeling (e.g., relief after a person has died after a long illness).
Fear. You may be anxious and afraid of more loss in the future. You may feel helpless about your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones from tragedy. You may have fears about your own mortality.
Sadness and Hopelessness. You may be extremely sad, hopeless, and depressed after a significant loss. You might be feeling lonely, empty, and longing. You might have crying spells that feel out of control.
Other Symptoms. Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, intrusive thoughts, changes in appetite, weight loss or weight gain, physical pain, questioning of your faith or world view, lowered immunity.
As painful and unbearable grief can feel, it is the sign that the healing process is taking place. The grieving process includes acknowledging and making sense of your emotions, identifying effective strategies and support systems to care for you, coming to acceptance of the loss, making meaning of life and your identity after the loss, and creating rituals to remember the loss.
The grieving process is unique to each person. The goal of grief counseling is not to help you move through grief as fast as possible. It is to help you experience your emotions fully, and allow the grieving process to unfold naturally and organically. Many different factors contribute to the length of grief therapy, including your coping strategies, your level of support, your life experiences, other mental health concerns, how you make sense of the loss, and how significant the loss was to you.
Our skilled and compassionate grief counselors can facilitate a healthy grief process. Your therapist can help you acknowledge your pain, confront the complex emotions related to your loss, help you express your emotions in healthy ways, establish a strong support network, and identify effective strategies to care for yourself. Grief therapy can help you find your identity and meaning again after a significant loss. If what you read here resonates with you, contact us or schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit.
Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit.
5306 Ballard Ave NW, Suite 212,