Are You Grappling With A Painful Death Or Loss?
Have you recently (or maybe not so recently) lost a loved one, and now feel lost and overwhelmed with grief? Does the pain feel unbearable as you struggle to envision the rest of your life going on without them? Do you find yourself feeling intensely lonely without them here and wish you had said or done things differently? Perhaps you wish you made different choices, spent more time with them, or taken the time to resolve old conflicts. But now that this person—be it a family member or close friend—is gone, the pain of loss is starting to affect your life.
Maybe you have barely begun grieving because you’re still dealing with the initial phase of shock and denial. You may be questioning why this loss happened, and how it could have been prevented. Are you struggling with the unanswerable question, “Why did this happen?” Perhaps the loss has shaken your faith, which used to help you get through hardships; but this hurt is just too deep, too tragic, and too raw to hold on to it as tightly as you have in the past. Maybe you even find yourself mad at God, and struggling in your faith.
No matter how much you try to go about your normal life, “survivor’s guilt” makes you feel bad about being happy or seeking pleasure in any capacity. Or maybe you want to move on and start enjoying your life again, but you’re not sure how to start.
Has the pain from losing your loved one made it difficult to maintain your former quality of life? Do you wish that you could deal with grief stages in a healthier way?
Feeling Stuck, Guilty, Or Having Difficulty Moving On Are All Normal Stages Of Grief
Most of us will experience loss at some point in our lives. If we’re lucky, we will bury our parents and grandparents at ripe old ages. But others aren’t as fortunate. Sometimes death strikes unexpectedly, and suddenly the people we love and are closest to are gone before we could truly appreciate their presence in our lives.
Whether you have a history of loss or this is your first time experiencing it, coping with loss can be challenging. Combined with profound sadness are the added stressors of making funeral arrangements (which are expensive), figuring out what the person’s wishes were regarding their possessions (which can be complicated when different relatives have different opinions), and other finance-related affairs. These issues are a lot to deal with all at once, especially in such a short amount of time.
But more than that, despite knowing that death is inevitable, it shakes our sense that life is no longer safe. Many people become afraid to go about normal, everyday tasks, such as driving or going to certain places, for fear of being reminded of the loss or putting themselves at risk.
Fortunately, working with a licensed grief therapist can help you move on after a beloved person is gone. You can rebuild your life and learn to feel genuine happiness again, no matter how impossible that may seem right now. I am here to tell you that you can smile again. While you will never look back on the loss as a celebrated event, you will be able to look back and celebrate the person’s life and how they have made your life better.
Grief Therapy Can Help You Process Loss In A Healthy Way
If you’re feeling stuck or are unable to be happy without feeling guilty, therapy is a great way to learn how to follow natural and healthy grieving cycles. I offer a safe, gentle and non-judgmental space for you to process anger, sadness, confusion or any other feelings you might have. As a grief therapist, I enter into the pain with you and journey with you through it.
I want to help you understand the norms of the grieving process: what’s normal, what to expect, and how to cultivate better coping tools. My approach is tangible and practical. I will help you implement lifestyle habits so you can feel better—such as exercise, good sleep, socializing, engaging in activities and hobbies that bring you joy, as well as creating new rituals around your grief to honor the deceased. These rituals may include visiting your loved one’s gravesite on the anniversary of their death, toasting them at their favorite restaurant with their favorite drink, or participating in a form of social activism in their honor.
I can help you take the energy created from the loss and use it as a catalyst in your own life. Imagine being able to make those scary choices that you have been avoiding, but perhaps know could be good for you: quitting a job you hate, getting out of a bad relationship, or going for that promotion you know you deserve. I can tell you from my own experience that my first major loss floored me. But when I was able to get off the floor, I made some frightening but exciting choices that forever changed the course of my life for the better. I can’t count the number of times I have stood at some amazing vista to quietly honor my friend, and in a way brought him with me in my travels throughout the world.
What I won’t do is tell you that you will eventually “get over” your loss or in any way dismiss or trivialize your feelings. But I can assure you that the grieving process does get easier with time. There is relief; your pain won’t always be this intense. Of course, you will always miss the person, but ultimately, you can look back on their memory without it hurting so much. You will even be able to smile when remembering the good times that you had with them.
You May Have Some Objections About Grief Therapy…
Therapy won’t bring my loved one back, so what’s the point?
It’s true that nothing can bring back the person that you love. But with the help of a therapist, you can work to get to a place where the pain won’t feel so intense. Therapy isn’t about pretending that the loss didn’t happen; it’s about pain relief.
I’m afraid of having to talk about my grief and feel the pain all over again.
You’re the one who sets the pace of our sessions. You don’t have to move too quickly or dwell on an intensely painful memory if it makes you uncomfortable. There is something to be said about the healing power of allowing yourself to feel all your painful emotions in the loving and protected space set up by a good therapist. Of course, how much you want to share is completely up to you. There is no time limit on grief recovery.
Does seeing a therapist mean I’m weak?
Absolutely not. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. There is power in grieving with others rather than grieving alone. Your confidentiality is also extremely important to my practice, and the space I offer is safe and non-judgmental.
Call To Schedule Your Appointment With A Grief Therapist
If you are ready to begin the road to grief recovery, I offer a free 15 to 20 minute consult by phone or video conference to see if we would be a good fit work together. You can reach me at (813) 296-8851 or through the contact page on my website.