You might find it helpful to know that grieving is not just feeling sad. A lot can happen to you physically as well as mentally when someone dies, a relationship ends, you lose your job or your home, or you suffer some other deep loss. Grief extends across physical and mental boundaries, and you may find that you have:
- feelings which are commonly associated with grief, such as: shock, numbness, sadness, despair, anger, fear, guilt or relief
- physical sensations in your body. People also often seem to be more vulnerable to physical illnesses at this time
- behaviours such as sleep disturbance, mood swings and loss or gain of appetite
- a wide range of difficult and sometimes conflicting thoughts
- cognitive reactions such as a sense of overwhelm, disbelief and confusion
- spiritual reactions, including dreaming and experiencing the presence of your loved ones/ places.
All of these feelings, behaviours and sensations are a part of the grieving process. How you experience them is unique to you and it can feel very far from how you normal experience life and the world. There is no normal or right way to experience grief. And, there is no set period of time within which you can be expected to “get over it”, no set pattern in which your grief can be expected to play out. Sometimes it can be helpful to just talk to someone and be reassured that this is all part of the process. Sometimes you might feel you need a little more support.
I will be running some bereavement groups soon together with my colleague Gina Simeonova. Each group will take place over ten weeks and will involve meeting weekly for one and a half hours. There will be a different theme each week and there will be some information sharing by us from our experience supporting bereaved people over the years. There will also be time for other people to share their stories and struggles or respond to each other. Often the most helpful support comes from sharing in this way with other bereaved people. Above all else, the group will be a place where it is absolutely ok for you to talk about death, grief and all the things that come with it.
We are currently in the process of holding the initial assessment sessions – a chance to tell your bereavement story to a counsellor and explore together whether our bereavement group is the right place for you. These sessions are an hour long and cost £25. If you like to know more have a look here or contact me on keylifetherapy@