"Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you".
John Green The Fault is in Our Stars
Do I need grief counselling?
Grief is a natural response to losing someone you care about. Everyone will have their own experience of grief, and it will affect you in different ways and at different times. There is no right way to grieve. In fact, how we process our grief will be as individual as our relationship is to the person we have lost.
Cristalle can help you with your grief if your emotions are so strong that you feel that you can’t go on, or are struggling to cope with your day to day life. For example, if you are struggling to go to work, look after your children and family, enjoy spending time with friends and socialising then it is important to get support.
Grief counselling with Cristalle can help you:
Explore your emotions, thoughts and responses to your loss without judgement or censorship.
Navigate the stages of grief.
Process your loss and the relationship you have with the deceased.
Develop coping mechanisms for navigating the next chapter of your life.
Here are some quick tips you can try to start working through your grief:
1. Allow yourself to feel the loss
Often the experience of loss is so overwhelming that you can start to feel numb, almost paralysed, from your emotions. This is entirely normal and is your brains attempt at protecting you from pain. However, when you feel ready, the best way to first deal with a loss is allow yourself to feel those feelings of despair. Allowing yourself to cry, and understand those feelings helps you to work through them.
2. Express those feelings
Whether it’s speaking to someone you trust, a safe friend or a therapist, writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal or putting your emotions into something creative like drawing or painting, it’s a great idea to find a way that suits you to express your thoughts and feelings. They are all natural and nothing to be ashamed of.
3. Hold space for gratitude
It’s easy to fall into a deep depression when you experience a loss. While it’s good to work through those feelings and not shy away from them, it’s also a good idea to refocus your attention on what is positive in your life when your feelings become overwhelming. What are you grateful for today? Which parts of your life bring you joy and make you feel fortunate to have them?
4. Take care of yourself like you would your own child
It’s easy to put self care at the bottom of the list of priorities when you can’t face the world – but looking after yourself physically and mentally is vital for you to recover from a big loss. Even if it’s just making sure you wash every day, make yourself a healthy meal – remember you still need taken care of and allow yourself the time to do that. You wouldn’t let your child walk around in rags and leave them unwashed and unfed – remember to treat yourself with that same care.
What are the symptoms of bereavement and grief?
Strong waves of anger
Numbness and guilt
Loneliness and loss
Physical symptoms include:
Tightness in the body
Muscle aches and pains
Upset stomach/weight loss
Under or overeating
What to do if you think you may be suffering with grief:
If you have suffered a loss, you can start either by contacting a therapist like Cristalle or talking directly with your GP.
Your GP can offer some useful advice and may agree that therapy can help.
Cruse Bereavement Care offer bereavement support with trained volunteers.
Many hospices, including Marie Cure Hospices, offer bereavement support for families.