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:
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: