I have always wondered why people in general do not seek grief help when it is available to them. What gets in the way; cost, pride, time, perception, fear, embarrassment or perhaps a bad experience when seeking help in the past?
I will speak about getting support from a counsellor or anyone who is able to offer support. The most important element when seeking supportive service to healing after a loss is the relationship you have with the counsellor. Being comfortable and able to openly express your concerns, being heard and understood are all necessary requirements for you to get the best support for you.
Doing the “work” is the most difficult and rewarding component. You have to be willing and able to do the work necessary to get better. Grief work or healing from past traumas takes time and effort on your part along with a suitable counsellor, supportive individual or group.
Does everyone need to do “grief work”? No.
Some people can put their loss in perspective and move on with life; this is not to say they do not miss or feel sadness for their loss. Other people may briefly need someone to talk with to help them understand and acknowledge the feelings, emotions, and all of the “stuff” related to their loss, that makes no sense at the time. Sometimes, knowing someone is there who cares is enough.
Counselling sessions do not necessarily have to go on for months. Each individual is unique and different in what is needed and how much work they want to do or are capable of doing at any given time. Perhaps you are an individual who can be given homework to do on your own with guidance and periodic check ins to make sure you are on the right track.
Meet with the perspective counsellor, supportive person(s) or group and decide if you feel comfortable sharing your deep emotions with them.
I want to clarify seeking help and sharing your feelings can be productive in settings where you feel safe; whether this is in one-on-one counselling sessions, a grief support group, a meditation or church group. Whatever path you choose, making a choice to move forward can potentially heal you and those who care about you.
An unexpected result may be while others are watching you, you become the hero in your own story.
Without knowing it, you may be an inspiration to others!
All my best,
Barbara Gillett Saunders