What is Grief?
Grief is the emotional reaction to a significant loss. Bereavement refers to the typical period of mourning and grief after a loss. Grieving is the act of experiencing grief. There are many things that can cause grief, not just a death; including, loss of a relationship, traumatic events, loss of support, etc. There is no one correct way to grieve or a specific period of time that one should grieve for. Some people feel it more deeply for longer periods of time, others may feel it in waves, other may have a short intense burst and then consider themselves past the grief. No matter how one feels it, it is painful and difficult, but is also an expected response to painful loss.
Symptoms of Grief:
- Feeling shocked or numbness
- Fear of losing someone else or how to cope with the lost
- Occasional moments of relief alternating with intense sadness
- Physical symptoms
Grief and Bereavement Counseling:
Some people need extra support during the bereavement time due to the feelings of grief becoming overwhelming or confusing. In other cases, they may trigger deeper issues such as depression or anxiety. In either case, counseling can assist in coping with these emotions and moving forward. Counseling will help to talk about the emotions experienced with someone who can be supportive but is unbiased. It is the counselors goal to normalize the emotions and experience of grief and teach skills that can be used to cope with those emotions, especially if they have become strong enough to negatively impact daily life and relationships. The final goal of a counselor in grief work is to assess if these emotions have become something more, such as depression and direct counseling in the appropriate direction.