Tag Archives: bereavement

Dear Grief…….

Dear Grief,

Bang, you came knocking on the door one day. You swept in pushing me over, changing my life forever. The one thing certain in life is that we are going to die. We know this. Nothing can prepare us for the loss of a loved one to death when you enter into our lives grief. You are hard to describe grief especially as everyone experiences you differently.

I can’t remember what I ate yesterday yet I can remember word by word that phone call when I first met you 26 years ago. ‘Dead? No.’ I cried, slumping to the floor. At that moment my world stopped. A wall of fog came up in front of me. I felt lost, frightened, confused and lonely. I could not imagine my life going on.  On the journey home, we stopped at the services and I just starred in the mirror looking at myself. I had to tell my reflection what was happening. I just froze and numbness hit me. Once home, the practical side of things took over and it was easy to focus on that. I even remember us laughing as a family. Laughter as such a sad time. How irrational you can be grief!

The funeral. I think I was there. I can’t remember the day. I only remember how you felt grief. You hurt. I could not breath. The pain was unbearable. It was even worse that having cerebral malaria. And that hurt!

As I prepared to go back to University to sit my exams, denial hit me. I could not accept that the loss had occurred. You’re good at that grief. Letting us deny what has happened. I remember a friend asking me how I was. ‘Numb’ I said. ‘I cannot believe it has happened’. ‘You’ve said it enough times’ he replied. ‘You should know by now’. At that moment, I realised I was alone with you grief. I was surrounded by people my age who had not experienced loss. They did not understand. Their live’s went on.

I became a robot. I got up every day. Sat my exams. I functioned. Friends slipped away and I withdrew into myself. Days I could keep you at bay grief. Some days you hit me when I least expected you.  Throughout that time, I felt useless. Reflecting back it is amazing to how I managed to carry on. I got that Master’s and before I know it, I was on my way for my first overseas assignment. I threw myself into my work. I kept that denial up. I was ok. I was superwoman.

Until one day a monster took over me. I still remember that day. I cringe at the friend who the anger was directed at. An overwhelming rage overtook me. And that anger stayed. I did not realise at the time but that anger stayed with me for over a year. Nothing was right. I blamed everyone apart from myself. Everyone else was the problem. At one stage, I was even angry at the person who left me. How dare they? If only they stayed at home that day. You know the drill grief. And then came the anger at myself. If only I went home the weekend before the death. If only I was a better person. If only……

If only someone sat me down and explained you grief, to me. If only someone took the time to listen to me. I am sure the grief journey would have less bumpy if I shared my grief and worked my way through it. Rather than keep stabbing in the dark and resisting you grief.

Two years later, I sank into a deep pit of depression. I was swarmed. I crumbled. I slowly lost my friends. Sadly most friendships have not recovered. Luckily someone picked me up and gave me that hug, and put me in right direction of help. Six months of help helped me crawl through that depression and start believing in life again. I accepted the grief. I was ready to move on. I could see my future. I knew I could start living my life.

Grief, what a journey we’ve had together. I would give up everything to have stopped that journey. But I have to admit, grief, that I have grown from our journey together. I would not be the person I am today without that journey. Some of the opportunities that came knocking on my door would’ve not happened if I wasn’t on your journey. You and I have our distance now grief. But you come knocking on my door sometimes. The birth of my son – a happy moment which you pushed your way into. What’s different now grief, is I allow that moment of unhappiness. I then look at where I am and those who are around me. I can then sit with you and let the happy memories flood in.

In the next blog post, this will look at things that I have learnt from grief and useful tips to help anyone experiencing grief through a loss.

Coping with loss and bereavement

Coping with loss and bereavement

Every time there is a significant change in our lives, such as loss and bereavement, we experience a range of feelings. It can be a confusing and frightening time. Understanding loss and bereavement can help with the grieving, and to understand what is happening. Coping with loss and bereavement is an important step forward.

The terms loss, bereavement, grief and mourning are explained below: Continue reading

Painful place called Bereavement

painful place called bereavementAll faced with bereavement

Sometime in our lives we are all faced with bereavement. If we think about it we either think bereavement will never happen to us or we’ll cope when or if it happens. When we lose a loved one the bereavement throws us into a world of grief. It’s a place that is confusing and painful bringing us unhappiness. Many of my clients do not understand the grief they are experiencing Continue reading

Counselling Outdoors

counselling outdoorsOther counsellors often ask about the walk talk therapy (counselling outdoors) that I offer here in Sheffield. They are intrigued to how it works and to why I came to be offering counselling outdoors as part of my business.

Walking my way through stress

I first found the benefit of walking and reflection for myself over 15 years ago. I was having a stressful time in my life and felt lonely. I walked my way through it. I found Continue reading

Six Steps to dealing with bereavement

six steps to coping with bereavementBereavement is often closed subject

Bereavement or loss is something that we all face at some time in our lives. This can be through the death of someone we are close to or our loss of health or job or a miscarriage. As it is a subject that is not often openly talked about, we have little opportunity to learn about death or loss. We only begin to understand how people are affected by grief, when we are faced with it. Often when people are grieving they will feel isolated. The can feel like they are the only one that feels the way they do and it can seem difficult to know what is ‘normal’. In addition families and friends do not know how to respond or deal with the bereaved. Continue reading

Walk Talk Therapy in Sheffield

Walk talk sheffieldA few years ago, I came across a book called ‘Working it out: Using exercise in Psychotherapy’.  This book highlights that walking during counselling or therapy:

  • Encourages a client to be more physical active
  • Helps a client get ‘unstuck’ when talking about difficult issues
  • Physical activity increases creative and deeper thinking

Continue reading

Depression at Christmas

depression at christmasWrapping Christmas presents early, putting up decorations and being actively involved in Christmas has only become part of my life since I have had children. This year as I prepared for my children’s advent countdown activities, I noticed that I was becoming swept along with all the excitement and the commercialism. This made me stop and reflect upon  Christmas. Christmas is not a happy occasion for many people. Many people are depressed at Christmas. People who have been recently bereaved or tackling terminal illness or are single or in an abusive relationship or in debt. You may be surprised on how many people are suffering from depression and dreading the isolation and stress of Christmas. Continue reading

Let’s talk about dying and bereavement

dying and bereavementMy last summer on Channel Four will be emotional to watch but I will watch it. I know it will be difficult, as like many people, I have watched someone die from a terminal illness. However, I will watch it as I think it is important to talk about dying and , bereavement. My packet of tissues will be on the sofa with me. Continue reading

Dealing with loss or bereavment

grief quoteSerious loss is something we will all experience at some point of time in our lives. This may be because of the death of a loved one or it may be circumstances such as miscarriage or loss of a job. Sometimes we do not experience loss or bereavement until later in life and have had some opportunity to learn about death and how people are affected by grief. However, whenever we experience loss or bereavement, we often do not know ‘how to grieve’ or how we should respond to our loss. Continue reading

Grieving for Mum on Mother’s Day

Losing your Mum through death is a difficult grieving journey whether you are young or old. The death of your Mum ended her life but it does not stop your relationship or love with her. For some the mourning of their mum never ends. Continue reading