What is Grief and Loss?

11th August 2019

Posted in: Blog Grief and Loss

Have you ever lost a loved one or had something else important in your life taken away from you? Have you felt that overwhelming sense of loss, leaving you feeling unsure of your future, bewildered, shocked, angry, guilty, lonely or really sad? This is grief, the emotional response to the loss of someone you love or something that is precious or necessary in your life. Grief and loss can happen when you least expect it and can seriously challenge how you cope with life on a daily basis.

Whether a loss be big or small, the impact can turn your life upside down.  An unexpected array of emotions may surface as you try to adjust to the change in your life. Whilst these emotions can be confusing and emotionally painful, it’s important to realise they are very normal reactions. There is no right or wrong way to respond as each person will react differently, depending upon how sudden the loss is and how deeply they are affected. Overcoming grief is a very personal journey requiring a great deal of love, support and understanding from those around you.

Reaching a point in your life where you feel able to move forward from loss can be difficult. Moving forward doesn’t mean you have to forget your loved one or ignore you have experienced any other form of loss; it means learning to accept what has happened and finding ways to live each day in a new fulfilling way. The journey towards acceptance may have emotional ups and downs, however there are generally five stages which you may find yourself going through. These include;

  • Denial – this is the inability to believe what has happened and possibly feeling like you are living in a fog. This is the minds ability to slow everything down and give you time to process what has happened.
  • Anger – you may feel anger or resentment towards the person responsible for your loss. You want to blame someone as this is easier than accepting the reality of the situation.
  • Bargaining – this is an attempt to regain control of the situation. You may find yourself saying “please God, if you do this, I will do ….”
  • Depression – in this stage you start to acknowledge the situation has happened and that you can’t change what has occurred. Isolation, loneliness, helplessness and sadness may be the primary emotions at this point.
  • Acceptance – slowly you begin to realise it’s time to readjust your life and find ways to move forward. You begin to have good days and look for ways to do things differently.

Counselling can help immensely during a time of loss. Having someone to talk to can help you to make sense of your emotions and come to terms with what has happened. It can also help you to put things into perspective and explore ways in which you can move forward with positivity and confidence.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the support counselling can provide to help manage grief and loss, please call Karen Cummins at Mindful Crossroads counselling services on 0400 416 535 or fill in the “Contact” section on the Mindful Crossroads website to arrange a confidential discussion.