Loss is something we all experience. But grief does not have to control your life.
Grief is our reaction to any loss, while bereavement specifically refers to grief involving the death of a loved one. It is possible to grieve the loss of things like relationships as well as the loss of life.
The Evolution Wellness team knows that loss comes in waves of sadness, anger, confusion, loneliness, and so much more. Our licensed therapists can guide you through processing your grief so that you can know life beyond loss.
How is grief experienced?
Grief and bereavement can evoke a spectrum of feelings and emotions, ranging from depression to rage. There is not one typical reaction or adaptation to grief as feelings of loss are usually tied to a few factors such as beliefs and the relationship to the lost entity. Grief is such a complex pain that can involve feelings of guilt, regret, anger and mourning, which extend far beyond sadness. The strength of the emotions felt can differ greatly from person to person; there truly is no correct or normal way to respond to loss or death.
Grief often commands thoughts of rationalization from the person experiencing loss. While some people begin processing grief with self-soothing thoughts, it is also common to experience periods of doubt or blame regarding the loss. Some may attribute a certain amount of responsibility to themselves for the loss or death of their loved one.
Behaviors related to grief are also unique and extensive. While some may feel comfortable sharing to loved ones or support groups how they are coping with their grief, others take a more silent approach to healing. There is not one method of grieving that is superior to the other. Every individual has unique needs when coping with loss.
What are the stages of grief?
While grief varies from individual to individual, there are some trends in grieving thoughts and behaviors. The most widely known model of grief is the Five Stages of Grief, defined as:
While these stages do not necessarily occur in order and do not suggest a linear process, it is thought that everyone experiences at least two of the five stages of grief. Some people may revisit certain stages over many years or throughout life, and the final stage of acceptance does not necessarily mark the end of the grieving process.
Grief is felt differently for varying lengths of time by everyone that experiences loss. While some may need only six months to resume overall normalcy, others may need years before they start to feel better. Self-care, enjoyable activities, and social support are essential parts to recovering from loss and adjusting to a new life.
Therapy for Grief and Loss
You do not have to bear the weight of your grief alone. When the pain of loss becomes too difficult to deal with on your own, therapy can help you feel less overwhelmed by your grief and suffering. Grief counseling provides support and helps people recover from their loss so they can adapt to their new normal.
While some are mourning the death of a close loved one, grief can also occur due to things like the end of a relationship or the discovery of infertility. Because grief extends beyond just loss of life, the grieving process is truly unique for all that experience it. A licensed therapist can help tailor your mental health treatment to the kind of loss you are experiencing and meet you where you are in the grieving process.
Counseling can help you process your grief by talking through your loss, reflecting on why it is so painful, and reminiscing on the memories you have of the person or bond you lost with a nonjudgmental person. Therapists are equipped with tools and techniques to help you adjust to life beyond your loss. You can start to understand why your grief is causing certain thoughts and behaviors so you can cope with them in a healthy way.