Everyone experiences and expresses grief in their own way, often shaped by how their culture honors the process or not. It is not uncommon for a person to withdraw from their friends and family and feel helpless; some might be angry and want to take action.
One can expect a wide range of emotion and behavior. In all places and cultures, the grieving person benefits from the support of others. Where that is lacking, counseling may provide an avenue for healthy resolution. Similarly, where the process of grieving is interrupted for example, by simultaneously having to deal with practical issues of survival or by being the strong one and holding a family together, it can remain unresolved and later resurface as an issue for counseling.
Grief counseling facilitates: expression of emotion and thought about the loss, including sadness, anxiety, anger, loneliness, guilt, relief, isolation, confusion, or numbness.
It includes thinking creatively about the challenges that follow loss, and coping with concurrent changes in their lives. Often people feel disorganized, tired, have trouble concentrating, sleep poorly and have vivid dreams, change in appetite. These too are addressed in counseling.
Grief counseling facilitates the process of resolution in the natural reaction to loss.
Losing a loved one is one of the most distressing and, unfortunately, common experiences people face. Most people experiencing normal grief and bereavement endure a period of sorrow, numbness, and even guilt and anger, followed by a gradual fading of these feelings as they accept their loss and move forward.
For some people, though, this normal grief reaction becomes much more complicated, painful and debilitating. Painful emotions are so long lasting and severe that you have trouble accepting the death and resuming your own life.
It’s normal to experience grief after a significant loss. Most people who experience normal grief can move forward eventually with support from family and friends. But if it’s been several months or more since your loss and your emotions remain so intense or debilitating that you have trouble going about your normal routine, talk to your physician and consider counseling.
Article Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.
Are You Coping With Grief?
Understanding and dealing with grief
By Kat DeLong
Ways of coping with grief are as different as the people who experience it. Some people withdraw and become angry, while some need constant support and nurturing in order to get through the experience. While grief is often associated with the death of a loved one, there are many types of loss that can trigger grief. Coping with grief is a process with no timeline and no expiration date. With proper support, time, and understanding, all kinds of grief can be experienced and overcome, and a normal life can be reclaimed.
Different Kinds of Loss
Coping with grief depends in a large part on how the loss occurred. A sudden, unexpected loss gives us no time to prepare. This is the case when a loved one dies of a heart attack, an accident, or is murdered. It may also occur when the death is outside the expected realm of what is normal, as in the death of a child. The person who is grieving will often show signs of trauma, which can block the grieving process. While grieving is a natural process that occurs, traumatic grief may require the support of professional counseling.
A predictable loss, such as that of an older person or a terminal illness, can produce different feelings of grief and loss. It is often seen as a two-layered process — grief in anticipation of the loss, and the grief that is involved when the loved one actually dies. Although it is possible to prepare for the loss in this case, it does not diminish the grief that is experienced by those left behind.
— Courtesy of Lifescript: Healthy Living for Women