We often wonder how we are going to carry on after a loss. How to move on when all we see around us is what reminds us of what we had. It might feel like an impossible task, to reshape our life and move on.
Loss happens in many different ways and it can affect us all deeply. If grieving isn’t done in the right way for each of us it can have long lasting effects that will impact on different areas of our lives, affect our relationships and change our world completely.
There are five stages of loss according to Kubler Ross: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, not necessarily in this order and not necessarily final. In bereavement, I believe the importance of continuing some form of relationship with the departed one is a must. This can be done in so many ways. Some may choose to even start a fund or association to honour the departed and/or protect others. For other bereaved, the simple act of lighting a candle and focusing on good memories is enough. The Counselling room can become a place where we continue this relationship – by talking about the deceased you are continuing your relationship.
Bereavement is very complex and never straightforward. The important thing to bear in mind is that you must do what feels right to yourself. This will allow you to move forward in your grief.
But loss does not only come in the form of bereavement. Significant life changes and trauma with lasting effects is a loss of our previous life style and capabilities. It means re-adjusting and this can be very painful.
In my clinic I have witnessed amazing progress achieved through hard work, which prevented relationships from falling apart, where strengths were acknowledged and adequate adjustments made to this new life.
It is important to put your thoughts into words, to try and work through the maze of your feelings, to gain clarity. Checking in during counselling on these feelings may allow us to gain more awareness of our thought processes, the source of these feelings and thoughts and lead us to make decisions to live a richer and more fulfilling life. This can be achieved.