• Grieving

    Q: My partner died a year ago. I still feel such sadness that it is often difficult to get through the day. Is there anything counselling can do to help me—I would rather not resort to medication.

    A: Counselling can offer you a number of techniques that can help you through this time. It is important to realize that the grief process is complex and consists of many stages that we pass back and forth through until the grieving is complete. The stages are usually defined as:

    1.Shock and denial
    2.Anger
    3.Bargaining
    4.Depression
    5.Acceptance

    For a variety of reasons, many people try to suppress their sadness. Grief, however, is like a monster fighting to escape. If it does not get it out by means such as talking, crying and writing, it will find other ways. These may include headaches, stomach troubles, breathing problems, anxiety, rashes, insomnia and general unwellness and depression. We all know that grieving follows the death of a loved one but many do not realize that the grief process will frequently follow other losses such as: ·loss of a pet ·sudden unemployment ·divorce
    ·loss of health.

    Some people feel embarrassed to admit to their sadness. They are told to “get on with it” or “it is better this way” but unfortunately, this never helps. The only thing that does help is feeling the pain and dealing with the loss. No one wants to go through these feelings, but sadly, it is the only way. Each pang of grief and each tear of sadness brings you one step closer to resolution. Acceptance does not mean that you did not care, it just means that you are ready to carry on.

    Relaxation techniques, anger management methods, guided imagery and visualization exercises are a few of the many methods that I find very useful in helping a person through the stages of this difficult time. With the start of a new year and a new millennium you also deserve a new beginning. I wish you and everyone else a year of happiness and peace.

    Q: A loved one died almost a year ago and I have never felt well since. Do you think that there could be a connection after such a long time?

    A: Yes! The grief process is a complex one. When we suffer a severe loss we sometimes do not want to express it openly. We are afraid that if we start to cry we may not be able to stop, or we think that talking to others about our loss will burden or depress them. Sometimes our pain is too great and our subconscious numbs us. Time passes and we feel that we are dealing well with the loss. The grief, however, is like a monster fighting to escape. If you do not let it out by means such as talking, crying and writing, it will find other ways. These may include headaches, stomach troubles, breathing problems, anxiety, rashes, insomnia and general unwellness and depression.

    We all know that grieving follows the death of a loved one but many do not realize that the grief process will frequently follow events such as:
    *loss of a pet
    *divorce
    *loss of our health (because of age , accident or illness)
    *sudden unemployment

    In all of these examples, we have lost something. Sometimes we feel silly for our sadness. People tell us and we tell ourselves to “get on with it” or “it is better this way” but unfortunately this never helps the grieving process. The only thing that helps is allowing yourself to feel the pain and deal with the loss. No one wants to go through these feelings, but sadly, it is the only way. Counselling can frequently be of great help in this process.

     

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