Bereavement is a term used to describe what people feel after the loss of a loved one. Grief is the time spent adjusting to this loss. It is important to remember that everyone deals with bereavement differently and that your own unique way of dealing with grief is normal.
While bereavement is the result of the loss of a loved one, grief can be the result of any loss. All loss = grief = pain. It can be helpful to know that there are stages and responses to loss. The following experiences are general responses to loss but they fall in no particular order and can leapfrog or re-occur during the period of loss.
- Shock – this closes down the system to prevent greater damage. It is experienced as numbness and confusion.
- Denial – is not wanting to accept the truth - disbelief
- Anger – There may be rage at being made to feel the pain of loss resulting in blame and then shame for owning the feelings.
- Guilt – this can be a response to shame and can eventually lead to depression. Typical thoughts may be ‘I could have…’, ‘ I wish I had..’ . It highlights unresolved issues
- Depression – fear – confusion – setbacks (e.g. anniversaries)
- Healing - acceptance of the loss - setbacks become less intense and less frequent - person has adapted and learned to live with the loss
Loss is experienced by everyone in the course of their lives to a greater or lesser extent. Some categories of loss during our development are:
- Separation – of baby from mother, of child from mother, home, school
- Failure- poor exam results, no entry into chosen lifestyle , expectations
- Rejection – of adolescent by a sweetheart, being loved by another
- Growing up- parents let go, unsureness, burden of responsibility
- Unfulfillment- of an ideal or an ambition, not being able to be (eg parent)
- Divorce – anger/resentment, poor communication, not being heard
- Redundancy – the loss of a ‘Right to Work’
- Unemployment – loss of being wanted/needed Status- loss of position, power, money
- Good Health – loss of control over our well being, loss of youth
- Libido – loss of performance we ‘should’ achieve or ’ought’ to experience
- Identity – lack of self worth/value
- Bereavement – a loss of what was.
Loss = Grief= Pain = Feelings
It is perfectly natural to have these feelings but we are often unaware of the cause or the process that we go through. Because of how debilitating and pervasive these affects can be it is often very hard to understand or make sense of what we are going through. Grief is often a necessary path of healing and coming to terms with loss. However it is all too easy to become stuck in one particular stage or in a circular loop that just keeps repeating.
Often we have no one to talk to or feel unable to explain the confusion and the hurt. Here at Solutions we offer a range of techniques to enable you to come to terms with your loss, and re-gain positive feelings about yourself and the future.
Everybody is different therefore so is every solution. We therefore individualise the way forward that best suits your individual requirements.