Bereavement blog


The death of someone important to us can be one of the most devastating experiences we will ever face. At times it can feel almost impossible to adjust to the shock and enormous changes that unfold. We can feel lonely, despairing, and feel that our beliefs, sense of self and our very reality are being deeply challenged.

And yet grief is normal. It can show up in many unexpected ways. We can feel completely numb; we can feel rageful; we can cry seemingly endlessly; we can become low with what feels like depression. No two people react exactly the same. As with our fingerprints, our grief is unique to each one of us.

What is certain is that we would do well to respect and understand the process of grief and acknowledge its necessity. As psychotherapist and writer on grief, Julia Samuel advises in her excellent book, Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving:

It isn’t something that can be overcome by engaging in battle, as in the medical model of recovery. As humans we naturally try to avoid suffering, but contrary to all our instincts, to heal our grief we need to allow ourselves to feel the pain; we need to find ways to support ourselves in it, for it cannot be escaped.
— Julia Samuel

Bereavement is the time we spend getting used to our new world, adjusting to loss. Again, everyone’s bereavement experience is unique. There is no ‘recommended time limit’ for grieving and no correct way to feel as we grieve – we must all do it in our own way.

Bereavement counselling may be able to provide support during these very difficult times, as the Counselling Directory explains:

Talking about the loss often allows a person to adjust to their new life with all its changes - good and bad. Keeping things bottled up or denying the sadness could prolong the pain. Any loss has to be acknowledged for us to move forward. Bereavement counselling tries to help clients find a place for their loss so they can carry on with life and eventually find acceptance.
— Counselling Directory
Keith Ewing