The one experience in life that no one can or has ever avoided, despite the many attempts that we have read about in the annals of history, in fiction books or in our own lives, is the experience of loss. The experience of loss is something that begins at the very beginnings of life and continues through life and happens on a daily or weekly basis.
However, not all losses are equal and the way in which people experience loss in not equal. For some people, there are some experiences of loss that can leave such an indelible mark that can be so difficult to overcome that the mourning process may seem to continue on indefinitely and from this more serious complications can arise.
As was mentioned above, not all losses are equal and individuals will experience the feeling of loss and grief in their own particular way. This is important to note as our cultural discourse on the loss of a loved one and place of grief has changed a lot over time and much like the other big challenges we all face in life, it can sometimes seem to be glossed over just because it happens to everyone. This can leave people with a profound sense of isolation and loneliness, just in the time when they will need the most support and time to go through the process of mourning after such a profound loss.
Coming to Terms with a Death of a Loved One
The death of a loved one, whether a partner or family member, is the most profound experience of loss and grief that we can have. When a loved one has died, the experience can bring with it many conflicting, ambivalent and painful emotions and thoughts that can change the ideas of who we are, who our beloved was and the world around us.
As these three concepts are interconnected with each other, the feeling of loss and the accompanying grief may not be as straightforward as we would imagine and this can bring about many unexpected thoughts and feelings. This experience and other experiences of loss and grief can bring about difficult thoughts and feelings of guilt and anger against you or your loved one, feelings of betrayal, isolation, alcohol and substance use and abuse, a loss of interest and enjoyment everyday life and a turning away from the world.
Death is not the only loss
Although the loss of a loved one is the most profound loss that one can experience, there are many obvious and not so obvious losses that can have just as a debilitating effect on the individual. Some of these losses can include:
- A loss of a Partner and/or Relationship
- A loss of Career or Employment
- A loss of limbs or disfigurement through an accident or assault
- A trauma and/or sexual assault
- Forced or sudden relocation of country
The Process of Mourning and How Counselling can help
The process of mourning that happens after a significant loss or change has happened can be a highly complicated and complex time and the working-through of this can’t be rushed. The task is often very painful and cannot be accomplished immediately or put into a specific time frame and must take its own course.
With that said, the process of counselling and psychotherapy also cannot be put into a specific time frame, as the working-through of all that comes up during this difficult time must be done at its own pace. The process of speaking through all of the difficulties of the loss, the complexities of the changes in your life through this time and painful emotions that arise in your time of grief can often be one of the most difficult and arduous experiences.
Yet through this time in counselling, the working-through of your loss can create a new sense of meaning around your loss and your life that can be a tough but ultimately rewarding and life changing experience.
I am available for grief and loss counselling and psychotherapy in Melbourne. Please get in touch via phone or email and I would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have.
Grief and Loss Counselling Melbourne
Paul Reid – Counselling & Psychotherapy