Are You Struggling To Make Sense Of A Loss?
Does your life feel like it’s on hold, as you can’t stop thinking about who or what you have lost? Are you experiencing an array of emotions, from sadness and depression to anger, uncertainty and fear? Perhaps you lost someone you love dearly in a traumatic and/or abrupt way, and you feel stuck in looping thoughts about what you could have said or done differently. Or maybe you were caring for a sick loved one, and now that he or she is gone, you feel utterly lost. It might be that constant crying, a change in eating or sleeping patterns and an inability to focus is impacting your day-to-day functioning. Do you feel alone, uncertain and fearful about the future, yet wish you knew how to move forward and regain a sense of normalcy in your life?
Going through the grief and loss process can be a deeply saddening, confusing and isolating experience. Although you might desperately wish that you could turn back the clock and have things return to how they once were, you know that what is happening is real. You may feel like you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions, crying one moment and angry the next. People in your life might be treating you differently, almost as if they’re wearing kid gloves, causing you to feel even more alone in your grief. It might be hard to ask for what you need—if you even know what that is right now. Or, it might be that you are struggling to make sense of your loss while also trying to support your children, partner and/or other loved ones as they process their pain.
Or, it may be that old grief is resurfacing, especially around a significant anniversary or birthday, and you can’t understand why you feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut—again. You might feel like you should be over it at this point, and feel stuck, ashamed and even guilty for not being able to move forward and reengage with the world and yourself in meaningful ways.
You Are Not Alone In Your Grief
Grief is a universal and varied thing. While most people associate grief with the loss of a loved one, we can also mourn the loss of a relationship, a dream, a way of life or the loss of health and/or mobility. As a human race, we all lose someone or something we love at some point. Yet, while change, grief and loss are inevitable, we are never truly prepared for the anguish, uncertainty and fear that they bring.
There is no straight path through grief, and everyone experiences it differently, in his or her own time. Although the healing process is unique to each of us, it’s very common to feel like you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions with no real relief in sight. It’s also common to feel shocked and overwhelmed—even if the loss was expected—and to feel the absence as though there is a physical hole in our lives. This painful void can cause us to feel uncertain about everything and even question our own mortality and faith.
The good news is that there is help and a path toward acceptance, personal growth and sustainable relief. A highly experienced and compassionate grief therapist can help you process your loss in a safe way, figure out what it is that you need to heal and move forward with increased resiliency, self-compassion and a greater sense of peace.
Grief Counseling Can Help You Heal And Embark Upon A New Path Forward
Regardless of your loss and how you are experiencing grief, grief therapy gives you a safe place to share your loss; identify and name your feelings; fully experience a range of emotions; share regrets, uncertainties and fears; and figure out what it is that you need to heal.
In grief and loss counseling sessions, I will hold nonjudgmental and compassionate space as you give yourself permission to share anything and everything that is coming up for you. I will honor what or who you lost and provide a container for you to explore challenging emotions and connect with a sense of comfort and closure. Together, we can find ways that you can honor your loss and move forward without letting go of the significance of your experience. What you need to heal often becomes apparent through this process, and you can explore ways to acknowledge your grief without feeling consumed by it.
Because we all experience grief differently, I will tailor a grief counseling strategy that best addresses, honors and supports your unique experience, needs, values and therapy goals. I can help you recognize there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and that everything coming up for you right now is okay. If you feel highly fearful or stuck, I can help you develop and engage in meaningful, mindful practices that honor your loss, make meaning of your grief and create pathways toward movement and contentment.
We can also draw from other mindfulness techniques, positive psychology and Brené Brown’s Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ to work through any feelings of guilt, shame or blame you may be harboring, as well as explore any questions concerning mortality or faith you may be grappling with. And, if you are supporting others in their grief, I can help you learn how to talk with loved ones about loss and create self-care strategies that can help you stay grounded and present.
I know, both personally and professionally, how painful the bereavement process can be. But, I also know that it is possible to heal, learn and grow from this experience. With the help and support of a grief therapist, you can move past the pain of your loss, experience a sense of joy and normalcy again and reclaim agency over your life.
You still may have questions and concerns about bereavement therapy…
How long does the grief counseling process take?
Counseling is 100 percent driven by you, and how long you’ll spend in grief therapy is dependent on your personal needs and goals. It may be that you just need a safe space to voice your experience and work toward acceptance. Or, if the loss was sudden and/or traumatic, you may need more time and added support as you explore challenging thoughts and emotions and make sense of what happened. Either way, it is my goal to get you through therapy and back into a stable, empowered life as quickly as possible.
I lost my loved one so long ago. Why am I still so affected by grief?
It may be that there are pieces of your grief that still need to be resolved. Or, it may be that the anniversary of the loss or another meaningful date is triggering uncomfortable feelings. In either case, we can do a few sessions that can help you cope with any challenging feelings that unexpectedly come up. Therapy is a safe place for you to get it all out and devise strategies that you can draw from when old thoughts, feelings and memories bubble to the surface.
If I work toward moving on, I fear that I’ll lose connection to what/who I lost.
There are ways of processing grief and loss that honor who and what you lost. You can view your loss as a thread in the tapestry of your life experience—an important piece of the patchwork that is part of who you are, but not your entire identity. You don’t need to forget any of what happened, and you can create a new relationship with your loss so you can move forward in a way that feels right for you.
You Can Move Forward With Compassion, Grace And Clarity
If you’re struggling with grief and loss in Boulder, CO or the surrounding area, feel really ready to do the work and are looking for an active, collaborative, compassionate therapist, I can help. I invite you to call me to schedule a free 30-minute, in-person session to see if we’d be a good fit and decide how we can best work together. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about grief counseling and my practice.