Grief comes in many sizes and shapes. Our personalities, background, religious beliefs and relationship with the person we’ve lost all play essential roles in how we come to terms with grief. One of the helpful steps in working through grief is to take stock of your loss. What I mean by this is that when we lose a person, we lose more than just the individual’s presence in our lives. We also lose a part of ourselves and how we related to the loved one. One way to think of this is to consider how we project our thoughts of the person in time – past, present, and future.
Loss of the Past
The loss of one or both parents often feels like we have lost our past. It is common for us to think about deceased parents like they were when we were children. This may be positive or negative, but we tend to imagine our parents from when we were children. This is why it is often helpful during grief to go back and take stock of the past- celebrating the good memories and letting go of some of the negative. The process of coming to terms with the past, especially when many of our minds are negative, can often be aided by an experienced counselor.
Loss of the Present
The loss of a spouse often feels like we’ve lost our present, this is especially true for elderly couples. Our spouse is an ever-present force in our lives. They are generally the first face we see in the morning and the last that we see at night. So when they are gone, the remaining spouse often finds it difficult to face their daily routine. Sometimes this can result in a person feeling like their life is over or that they cannot continue to live without their mate. But with time and some help from a trained counselor we can find hope and learn to embrace life again.
Loss of the Future
Parents who have lost a child generally find it difficult to imagine life without their child. We tend always to project our children into the future, guessing what they will be like when they are older. Many times parents feel like they do not want to continue living and even consider ending their own lives. In these cases, it is urgent to seek out professional grief counseling to help navigate these treacherous waters. This is a challenging and difficult path, but there are hope and healing available. Call us today to make an appointment with one of our trained counselors.