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Going to grief therapy feels like being on a life raft headed back to shore after leaving a sinking ship.

Why You Should Not Postpone Grief Counseling

Losing someone to illness or a sudden event is devastating. You counted on having that person in your life for companionship and emotional support, and then one day they were gone. All the assumptions you made about your relationship seemed to evaporate instantly, leaving a void inside you. You wake up to each new day with immense sadness only to realize that you cannot reconnect with your loved one again, at least physically. How do you begin to rebuild your life?

Understanding Grief

The loss of a loved one leaves you with many difficult feelings to process.

  • Despair
  • Relief
  • Shame
  • Hurt
  • Guilt
  • Disbelief
  • Embarrassment
  • Anger
  • Longing
  • Sadness
  • Bewilderment
  • Fogginess
  • Disillusionment
  • Denial

In one sense, it feels like the life force has been sucked out of you, and it's hard to breathe. In another sense, you are extremely raw emotionally, highly in tune with shock and grief, and wondering how to overcome it. There is comfort in the presence of loved ones who also miss the deceased, but no one can replace the person you've lost.  You might not believe it yet, but your loved one wants you to find joy again.

Dealing with the Event

In the initial phases of grief, you might be surrounded by your loved ones. You might have enough supports to get through the first few days or weeks after the person's arrangements are made. However, there can be persistent feelings of grief that affect your ability to eat, work, interact, sleep, and even feel healthy. You might stop talking to people, going to the gym, getting groceries, or doing chores. You might withdraw into yourself or bury yourself in the most essential work tasks and taking care of your kids and pets while you avoid facing your feelings. If you cannot handle the effects of grief alone, then you might need counseling.

When Grief is Overwhelming

These outward signs can suggest dealing with grief is too much, which might suggest getting expert intervention:

  • Overwhelming loss of appetite/weight loss
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unstoppable bouts of crying
  • Hard to focus
  • Thinking about self-harm or suicide
  • Cutting off communication with family and friends
  • Not wanting to get out of bed or do anything all day
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