Most of us will experience grief or loss in some form during our lives due to death, a relationship rupture, or some other circumstance. But how we experience loss and grief is unique.
When dealing with a tragic loss, some people may experience feelings of deep sadness or anger. Others may feel nothing at all. Everyone responds to grief differently, and there is no specific time for healing to be “done”.
What if you are not ready to feel better, just yet?
If you’re going through emotions that are related to experiencing the loss of someone you love, you might be caught between conflicting thoughts.
Perhaps you feel guilty about something that may have occurred. Perhaps you even find yourself feeling responsible for the loss of your loved one.
Support systems can be very helpful. It is important to surround yourself with people who care about you and your loss. But sometimes, it is difficult for those around you to hold the emotional space for you, because they want you to feel better, even if you are not ready to “move on”.
On the other hand, it is totally normal to have the “opposite” reaction, one in which you absolve yourself or others of wrongdoing (“nothing more could have been done”) and enjoy spending time alone with your feelings by engaging in solo activities like painting, exercise, or writing.
There is no one right way to grieve.
You may be familiar with the five stages of grief. Each of these typically presents itself at some point during a loss, though not necessarily in this order:
These stages are important in helping you to accept the loss, work through your emotions, adjust to life without the individual, and move on without shame. However, it is not at all uncommon to get stuck on one or more of these stages or to move back and forth between them.
We want to tell you that there is hope, and a space for you to grieve, mourn and also celebrate the good parts, because there may also be good parts to remember, which are hard to access.
Grief can take months to process… and that’s okay.
Some people experience what is referred to as “complicated grief” and will not fully bounce back on their own within the time frame that they or their loved ones might consider as “reasonable” or normal.
Therapy for grief and loss works best when you move at a pace that works for you.
The truth is that the intensity of grief comes with peaks and valleys. Your experience is your own, and you should not be shamed into feeling that you are “taking too long to move on”.
SYMPTOMS OF GRIEF:
- Profound sadness or pain
- Feelings of emptiness or worthlessness
- A preoccupation with being reunited with an individual
- Difficulty remembering the person lost
- Avoiding things that remind you of the person lost
- Isolation from friends and family
- A lack of interest in goals and hobbies
How Therapy for Grief and Loss Can Help
When you find a therapist to help you process a heartbreaking loss, it’s important that you are listened to and treated with warmth and respect. At Cohesive Therapy NYC, we want nothing but the best for you. It’s never easy to go through the pain of a loss, but you aren’t alone. Reach out to us today to learn more about how therapy for grief and loss can help you.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.