what is grief?
All of us at some point in life will experience a major life event or a major loss. You may feel as if you are caught up in a tidal wave, where you’ve lost your ground, been swept up, and landed in a place you don’t recognize from this loss. Many people describe grief as all-consuming or like being underwater. Grief can temporarily change how our brain and body functions and it can be difficult to function as we normally would. This is why many people say they feel slower, heavier, or that they don’t feel like they normally would after a critical loss. One last point: Grief lasts as long as it lasts. Grief is an entirely natural process and there is no established timetable for grieving.
Counseling can provide sufferers with the assistance they need to move past such feelings as there may be a tendency to avoid the pain — which can prolong it. Counselors are highly trained therapists who have years of experience working with grief and loss. They can help their clients process their loss and make meaning of something that otherwise can be very painful. Grief and loss are highly charged emotions which it can help to have support as you navigate and process these difficult experiences.
How long does grief last?
When will it be over? Unfortunately, there is no simple and clear answer. There are too many variables to predict with any accuracy how long someone will be in grief. Every griever is unique, as measured by their personality, their coping behaviors, their previous experiences with grief, their relationship with the one who died, and many other factors. Every experience of loss is also unique, including how expected the death was, and whether or not someone was responsible for the death, to name just a few of the variables.
Some Symptoms of Grief Include:
The first session of grief counseling isn’t going to be a magically transformative experience. As a therapist, I would suggest for you to plan to lay out your story and notice if you feel supported by the therapist. You can also ask questions to make sure grief counseling is something that the therapist has experience with and that they feel comfortable with.
Grief is a natural response to losing someone or something that’s important to you. You may feel a variety of emotions, like sadness or loneliness. And you might experience it for a number of different reasons. Maybe a loved one died, a relationship ended, or you lost your job. Other life changes, like chronic illness or a move to a new home, can also lead to grief.
This varies by individual. Some models of grieving are represented as: to accept the reality of the loss, to work through the pain of grief, to adjust to life without the deceased, and to maintain a connection to the deceased while moving on with life.
The stages of grieving according to Kubler Ross are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
This is largely up to each individual. If you are thinking about taking medication then discuss it with your therapist and doctor and evaluate it to see if it feels right.
Grief counseling can help you with a number of things. It can help you to better cope with the loss, work on expressing your feelings, become more open to new relationships, and/if and when you are ready for it, to potentially work on building a new identity for yourself.
Curious if You have Grief?
MEET THE TEAM
Not sure about who to pick? We can help!
Below are some posts on grief that may be helpful to you in your quest to learn more for yourself or those you love.