Don't Suffer Alone: Why You Need Grief Counseling When You Lose A Loved One
If you've lost a loved one, you may be tempted to withdraw and ask everyone to leave you alone to grieve. While there is nothing wrong with desiring some space to grieve in silence, isolation can lead to further depression. Seeking a group or professional to help you through the grieving process will help you manage the stages of grief and get your life back on track in a healthy way.
Friends may not be helpful
When you lose a loved one, you may think you will be fine because you have a lot of friends in your life who can help you along the way. However, well-meaning friends who have never experienced grief may give you misguided advice. They love you and mean well, but out of their desire to help you, they may say things that are hurtful rather than helpful.
A grief counselor or support group will be familiar with or will likely have experienced being given advice that was intended to help but that hurt instead. You can learn from their expertise and experience so you know what to expect on your own healing journey.
Being alone can exacerbate negative feelings
Retreating into the solitude of your home is a common reaction to loss. You don't feel like facing anyone. You want to shut the world out and be alone. Desiring some time to spend alone with your thoughts is important, but too much alone time can lead to a range of unhelpful emotions.
For instance, being in solitude gives you more time to think, and those thoughts may be of a negative nature. You may think about how you wish you would have done things differently before your loved one passed, or you might feel guilty or have regrets. Your grief support group or counselor will help you sort through these negative emotions and find healthy ways to manage them.
The grieving process is complex
The process of grieving the loss of a loved one can take months or years to work through. Some individuals don't experience all the typical stages of grief, while others do. You may have days where you think you have worked through the process only to wake up and feel like you are starting at the beginning again.
Your grief support group or counselor will be with you throughout the process, no matter how long it takes. You will not ever have to feel alone.
Surrounding yourself with others who understand your thoughts and feelings will help you sort through the range of emotions that occur when you grieve the loss of a loved one. Finding a grief counselor or grief support group is the first step along the path to healthy healing.
To learn more, contact a resource that offers grief support services.