Grief & Bereavement
Grief and Bereavement
Through personal experience and many years of working with bereaved people, I am aware of how very difficult it can be to recover following the death of someone important to us. A bereavement does not occur within a separate compartment of life, but can affect life in any or all of its aspects: home life; work life; relationships; memories; hopes; dreams; and our sense of life's meaning and our place in it.
Bereavement Counselling is sometimes seen as a way to 'make things better' in order to continue with normal life. However, people often describe how, following a bereavement, they no longer have confidence that they know what 'normal life' is anymore. From this perspective, counselling following bereavement is not primarily about making something better, but having the opportunity to explore the meaning of what has happened - recently or long ago - and its implications for who we are and what life can be for us as we go forward in a profoundly changed world.
It is important to remember that grieving itself is not an illness. It hurts because it is grief, not because something is wrong. Sometimes however, it can be particularly challenging and can become complicated by other difficult things in the present or in the past. Counselling offers an opportunity to explore and address the personal issues which may be making the experience of grief particularly difficult.
If you are grieving (or if a past bereavement is causing you difficulty in the present) and considering seeking counselling support, please do get in touch. You may find the following links helpful.
Refuge in Grief offers a variety of resources and links, based on the the belief that, whilst some things cannot be fixed, we can become better at carrying them. You can download their information sheets:
How to Survive Early Grief and
How to help a Grieving Friend.
Highland Hospice Counselling & Bereavement Service web pages include a range of information and links about grief and grieving as well as signposting to other organisations.
Cruse Scotland is the national bereavement charity in Scotland. Their website offers resources and links. Cruse Bereavement Care is the sister organisation of Cruse Scotland, serving England and Wales. They also offer varied resources and links.
The reality is that we will grieve forever. We do not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; we gradually learn to live with it. We heal and we rebuild ourselves around the loss we have suffered. We will be whole again but we will never be the same. Nor should we be the same, nor would we want to be.