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Dealing With Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss Counselling in Maple Ridge and Metro Vancouver

Understanding Grief and Loss

There is no right or wrong way to grieve and no two individuals experience grief in quite the same way.  Loss of a loved one or family member can be one of the most devastating events that one can experience and can leave us feeling completely upside down and in need of support.

Grief is a normal reaction to any kind of loss. It’s not always the loss of a loved one – grief can also be caused by divorce, illness, or changes in life such as job loss/retirement, relocation, or the loss of one’s physical capabilities, social connections or status, or a career that is part of one’s identity. All these losses can have a debilitating effect on functioning and happiness.

Common Signs of Grief

Change in appetite
Disrupted sleep patterns
Complex emotions of sadness, anger, guilt, shame, regret, or anxiety
Social withdrawing
Pain/body tension
Upset stomach or nausea
Tightness in chest or throat
Inability to make decisions

How Counselling Can Help With Grief and Loss

Counselling can help with processing the difficult emotions associated with grief and loss. Although grief can be enduring, the process of mourning a loss can become delayed or complicated without support. Seeking the help of a trained therapist can guide you in more successful processing of the loss. This can come in the way of learning ways to adjust to cope and adjust to a new normal, building your strengths and resources, and learning ways to reintegrate into life without the loved while still honouring and respecting their memory. You are not trying to replace the loss, but to learn how to live with it and find additional meaning in life.

When to Seek Counselling for Grief and Loss

Grieving is normal and there is no specific timeline. However, it is good to watch for signs that your mourning is becoming complicated such as the presence of chronic grief intensity, delayed or suppressed emotions, maladaptive behaviours and functioning, traumatic or separation distress, developing mood conditions or other health conditions, and inability to move forward in life.