Grief, Loss, and Bereavement

unnamed-22Grief can happen in response to the loss of a loved one, pet, home, job, treasured item, or even an ideal.  Grief, loss and bereavement carry with them a weight that is palpable.  It can feel as if you are wearing a very heavy coat and you are not sure if/when you will ever be able to shake it.  Other symptoms of grief/loss can include:

  • Sadness, anger or irritability
  • Guilt
  • Shock
  • Numbness
  • Emptiness
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Anxiety/panic
  • Helplessness
  • Sleep or appetite disturbances
  • Confusion
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feeling the presence of a deceased loved one

Feelings of grief and loss take time to subside.  Particularly in the case of bereavement, sometimes the sense of loss never really goes away.  For example, if a close friend or relative dies, it is possible you will go on experiencing the sadness of that loss during certain events each year.  However, it can be helpful to remember that the pain does tend to lessen over time.

Grief can feel like a very lonely experience.  You might find yourself thinking, “Does anyone understand?  Can anyone help?  Is there any way out of this?”  Please know, whether with me or another therapist, you do not – and should not have to – go through this alone.

How We Will Work Through It:

The first step is to be mindful of your feelings about the loss, allowing yourself to experience – without judgment – all that is coming up for you.  I’ve heard people say many times that they are afraid if they start “feeling their feelings,” they fear they will never stop crying or will become unable to function.  Together, we will help you set a pace for yourself that feels safe to take this vitally important step in healing your pain from loss.

Together, you will have someone to share your stories and memories with, someone to express your most painful feelings to without having to fear judgment or repercussion, and to learn skills to cope and “separate without letting go completely” so you can move forward with your life.

I offer individual counseling and bereavement groups at locations around New York City.