Session duration is 1 hour
“The death of a loved one can be devastating.
Bereavement affects people in different ways. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. You might feel a lot of emotions at once, or feel you’re having a good day, then you wake up and feel worse again”, says expert bereavement counselor – Bhisma Devi
Powerful feelings can come unexpectedly. It’s like waves on a beach. You can be standing in water up to your knees and feel you can cope, then suddenly a big wave comes and knocks you off your feet.
Experts generally accept there are four stages of bereavement:
– Accepting that your loss is real
– Experiencing the pain of grief
– Adjusting to life without the person who has died
– Putting less emotional energy into grieving and putting it
into something new – in other words, moving on
You’ll probably go through all these stages, but you won’t necessarily move smoothly from one to the next. Your grief might feel chaotic and out of control, but these feelings will eventually become less intense.
Feelings of grief
shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to the death, and people often speak of being in a daze
overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
tiredness or exhaustion
anger – for example, towards the person who died, their illness, or God
guilt – for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or didn’t say, or about not being able to stop your loved one dying
These feelings are all perfectly normal. The negative feelings don’t make you a bad person. Lots of people feel guilty about their anger, but it’s OK to be angry and to question why. Some people become forgetful and less able to concentrate. You might lose things, such as your keys. This is because your mind is distracted by bereavement and grief. You’re not losing your sanity.
A bereavement counselor can give you time and space to talk about your feelings, including the person who has died, your relationship, family, work, fears and the future.
You can have access to a bereavement counselor at any time, even if the person you lost died a long time ago.
Each bereavement is unique, and you can’t tell how long it will last. In general, the death and the person may constantly be at the forefront of your mind after around 18 months. This period may be shorter or longer for some people, which is normal. A bereavement counselor can help if you feel you’re not coping.