Do You Feel Empty Or Alone After Losing A Loved One?
Have you recently experienced the loss of a parent, spouse, or child? Are you afraid of the future or worried about what life will be like without your loved one? Do you have trouble expressing your feelings to family and friends, despite their best intentions and desire to understand? Perhaps you lost someone years ago, but you are still struggling to put the pieces of your life back together.
Unfortunately, grief and loss are natural parts of being human. However, the demands of modern society can often make it difficult to fully grieve and process the many intense and complicated feelings that arise. For instance, many grieving individuals spend much of their day simply going through the motions as they try to integrate back into everyday life. Some choose to dive into their work as a means of ignoring painful emotions while others may obsess over their feelings and thoughts throughout the day.
Despite our best efforts, our culture doesn’t foster an environment that accommodates the needs of the grieving. If you have experienced a significant or unexpected loss in your life, I am truly sorry, and I understand perfectly well the impact that it can have on nearly every aspect of your life. Losing a loved one can be very isolating and hard to process, and although life will never be the same, you can learn to rebuild your life in a way that acknowledges your loss and the difficult emotions you’re experiencing.
Grief Can Be Lonely, But You Aren’t On Your Own
For many people, it can seem like the gloom and uncertainty felt after a loss is something that we simply have to learn to live with. However, that’s easier said than done as Western culture doesn’t easily recognize, understand, or value the time needed for coping with loss.
If you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, you may feel like people are purposely trying to avoid topics that may cause you to talk about it. Sometimes, for well-meaning friends and family members who have yet to experience a traumatic loss, it can be uncomfortable to witness and relate to your pain because it can elicit fears of loss in their lives. Conversely, it may be that friends and family are unable to provide comfort and support because they too are grieving.
As interconnected as we like to think we are, our culture often demands that we avoid sensitive or difficult topics, solve our problems without assistance, and downplay significant experiences that shape us into the individuals we are. But the truth is, sorrow and longing are natural parts of the grieving process and unfortunately, there’s little we can do to alter that. Although you can’t change how you feel or who you are, you can work to accept your circumstances and process your pain in a way that promotes healing while still honoring your loved one’s memory.
Life may feel turned upside down or out of your control during times of bereavement, and the secondary losses you experience may even compound your experience. For instance, you may find that you’re no longer able to afford the home you once shared with a loved one. You may consider resigning from your job due to an inability to properly focus on your work. Or you may experience feelings of isolation when friends fail to relate to your experience. We all have experienced a mourning period after the death of a loved one. However, everyone’s experience is unique and deserves to be handled with a personal amount of care. By engaging in grief counseling, you can begin to process your loss, regain a sense of direction in life, and find peace despite this difficult transition.
Grief Therapy Can Provide You With Hope And Support
Therapy gives you a place where you can let your guard down, grieve, and be human without having to regard anyone else’s feelings but your own. It offers you a chance to work with someone who can bear your pain and walk with you amid the uncertainty until you can find your own way toward healing. Together, we will develop healthy ways for coping with your loss that allow you to function and eventually move forward in your life with confidence and peace.
During our sessions, you’ll be provided with a safe, comfortable environment in which to explore your loss and how it is affecting you on a regular basis: What emotions are you experiencing? How is the loss affecting your job, personal health, or your relationships with friends, family, or children? What do you ultimately want for yourself and your future? Grieving can be a time of sadness, melancholy, and anxiety, but you don’t have to put your life on hold. Together, we will work through the painful emotions to develop an understanding that what you are experiencing is normal and even necessary.
My approach values the education of laughter because life shouldn’t be all doom and gloom, especially in our most trying moments. I offer different perspectives towards approaching your feelings that teach skills, which make it easier to communicate your feelings and needs with your loved ones, cope with your loss, and transition into the next chapter of your life in a way that honors the memory of your loved one.
Navigating the hardships of a loss and making sense of it all is difficult, but reaching out for help is a monumental step towards healing. I’ve been in practice, helping people through individual counseling since 2003, and with my own experiences involving loss, I’m confident we can work through your mourning and help you realize a future of your own.
Perhaps you are considering grief counseling but still have some concerns…
What if I’m not ready to move on?
The impact a loved one makes on your life can be everlasting, and after they’re gone, you might not be ready to abandon their memory. However, grief therapy’s focus isn’t to help you move on and replace their memory. Instead, it teaches valuable lessons that will help you process this difficult time, honor your loved one’s memory, reflect on the positive experiences you had together while looking forward to the possibilities still in front of you.
How do I know that you’ll understand the pain I’m experiencing?
Your experience is something I’ll never be able to replicate, but I will always be here to listen. Often, when we’re grieving, we simply need someone to listen to us, value us, and let us know that we aren’t alone in how we feel. My humanistic approach to grief counseling affords you the opportunity to unpack your feelings at your pace while recognizing the experience you’ve had as your own. Together, we’ll work to develop strategies that will help you cope with the difficult emotions that accompany mourning and learn to look toward the rest of your life.
Will grief therapy help me cope with the pain, loss, and emptiness I feel?
After a significant loss, most people are unsure with how they feel. Whereas some individuals experience many emotions, others may feel hollow and numb. Although we all process loss differently, grief counseling can be a space where you learn to understand the complex array of emotions you’re experiencing and begin to develop a path towards mending the wounds left behind.
There Is Life After Loss
The grieving process can feel hopeless and lonely, but it’s never too late to ask for support. I offer a free 15-minute phone call consultation where we can discuss your questions, concerns, and draw a picture about what you can expect during therapy. You can reach me at 727-480-2427.
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but, you will never be the same, nor would you want to”
-Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler
“Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith… It is the price of love.”