Grief from a bereavement is of course the most common sort.
But we can experience grief from other life experiences, too. This can be abreakup, losing a friend, losing a job we loved, or the end of a social event we relied on for years. It might even be losing a precious object that reminded us of someone or something important.
But these stages are just a guide. Grief is an individual experience, and there is simply no way it is going to follow a pre-set agenda. You might find you experience all of these stages, you might only experience one or two, you might do things in a completely different order, and you might experience emotional states that don’t seem to fit these stages at all.
‘Complicated grief’ is a term used to describe grief that goes on for six months or more and seriously affects your ability to function. It requires different treatment than regular grief. Look out for things like self-destructive thoughts, an inability to think of anything but your loss, and a feeling that you can’t handle life without the other person because it no longer has meaning.
Nothing can ‘cure’ grief except going through it, in our own way, and in our own timing.
Instead of seeing grieving as something with an end that will ever be resolved see it more as a negotiation. How can you best negotiate a world without the person or important thing you have lost?
While it can’t stop the process, grief counselling can help us manage. And it might also shorten the time you feel grief as you will learn techniques to process your emotions instead of suppressing them. It also provides the support that makes the process of grieving less lonely and confusing.
And if your grief has become ‘complicated grief’, involving a lack of reality, destructive thoughts, and depression and anxiety, then a proper talk therapy treatment plan can be required to help you find your equilibrium again.
Need bereavement counselling in London? Book at one of of our many central London locations and you’ll be guaranteed a counsellor with a minimum of five years experience.