Loss & Bereavement
We ask ourselves "Why?" a million times,
but have no answer.
We are helpless, lost and vulnerable.
No one understands what we are going through.
We feel nothing but pain, loneliness and despair.
Sooner or later, we all lose someone whom we love: a spouse, a child, a parent, a close friend.
It matters not whether it is through a move to another city, separation or divorce, or death. The loss is still profound and excruciatingly painful.
It matters not whether it is a spouse, a child or a parent. It might even be a pet. And it matters not whether the loss was anticipated or sudden. The loss still tears our heart apart. And our life.
We become angered by our loss of control over our life.
We become angered by people who set time limits on how long we "should" grieve.
We become angered by people who give us useless advise, like "Get on with your life...'
And, we often become angry at the person who left us. If we move beyond the pain.
When we lose someone we love, through death, divorce or separation, we need to grieve the loss. It is a necessary step to being able to live life again. Life will never be the same, we know that. But at some point, we need to be able to resume our lifestyle as closely as possible to what it was before our loss. No, it will never be the same.
The loss of a spouse is especially traumatic. In addition to the severe emotional shock, the loss may cause a potential financial crisis if the spouse was the family’s main income source. The death may necessitate major social adjustments requiring the remaining spouse to parent alone, adjust to single life and maybe even return to work. For this reason, because of the complexities, you may find it more beneficial to join one of our groups after a few sessions of individual therapy.
Some people cope with loss by becoming "busy" either at work or through other means -- signing up for courses, volunteering, joining committees, taking on other tasks -- anything and everything to fill the void. Loss that goes unacknowledged or unattended will, sooner or later, result in disability. We called this "delayed grief." But grief that is expressed and experienced has a potential for healing that eventually can strengthen and enrich life. There is no right or wrong way to grieve — but there are ways to make your grieving more complete and more positive.
Sometimes, however, people sink deeper and deeper into the black hole of depression, and are not able to resume their lives without help. Sometimes one is barely able to "hold on" and function -- yet there is the additional stress and complication of children who are also hurting because a parent, sibling or grandparent is gone. Sometimes it is all too much to cope with.
I will gently comfort you and listen, and give you a safe place to be. When it is time, I will gently encourage you,. At times I will lift you, and support you, and push you back up if you start to slide back down into the black pit of darkness. But, I will do nothing, unless you ask...If you are not ready to move in any direction, we will do nothing, but stop and relax, and stay in our safe place.
Unfortunately, I know only too well what bereavement is all about, as you have read if you clicked on "Groups". In addition to losing my husband in a tragic accident at age 34, I have also recently lost my mother to cancer. A death that didn't need to happen because the doctor treated her for the wrong kind of cancer, and she grew weaker and weaker and slipped away far too young.
I have no idea what pain you are going through. I have no idea how special your relationship was. I promise you I will never say, "I know how you feel because ..." Because I don't know how you feel. I do know what pain is and we all feel it differently. I do know that I can help.
GRIEF IS LIKE A RIVER
My grief is like a river,
I have to let it flow,
but I myself determine
just where the banks will go.
Some days the current takes me
in waves of guilt and pain,
but there are always quiet pools
where I can rest again.
I crash on rocks of anger;
my faith seems faint indeed,
but there are other swimmers
who know that what I need
Are loving hands to hold me
when the waters are too swift,
and someone kind to listen
when I just seem to drift.
Grief's river is a process
of relinquishing the past.
By swimming in hope's channels,
I'll reach the shore at last.
By Cinthia G. Kelley