In the last year and throughout this pandemic, I have reflected on how to find meaning in loss and how can we cope with grief and bereavement.
Each losses are unique and different for each of us, some are more recognised than others. Society might tell us that it is more acceptable to grieve for one things or the other, that some things we should get over with quickly. Often, our work policy only give us one or a few days off for bereavement of a family member. But what if we are trying to cope with the loss of a friend, the loss of an unborn baby or the loss of a cherished pet.
Grief is unique to all of us, it is not about the name but more about the realtionship we had with the person or the things we have lost.
Sometimes we might be feel misunderstood by the people around us who might not understand why it is so difficult for us or why it is easier to move one. Some people might tell us that we should grieve more or that we should grieve less, that we should wear this colour, go out, don't go out, have visitor, be left alone...
What is important is what you feel is right for you... Maybe you want to be left alone for a time and then have company, or maybe you want to go back to work and see people..
With my client, I give importance to all losses and aim to understand how each losses affect the person, what losses were meaningfull, which one have not been processed yet, which one don't feel important.
Making meaning of the loss is a process, it is less about understanding the why or how but more about putting the pieces together, making sense of the feelings, of the hurt and of the hope.
Losses can bring about doubts, shake our previous convictions, change our view of the world. It can brings strong feelings such as anger, shame and guilt. Being able to voice those feelings is important.
Faith can provide a sense of hope, a way forward and a relief that it was fate and that we could not have changed it but it can also leave us feeling that our sins were the cause of it or that God let us down.
Being able to process the loss, voice our feelings about God and look at it differently can help bring new meanings and healing and can help us cope with the loss.
Finding a safe space to voice your feeling is important, sometimes it is more difficult to do it with family or friends as they might have their own feelings about it and you might feel misunderstood in your grief or feel like you have to be in a certain way that does not fit.
Counselling can offer you this safe space where all feelings can be voiced and explored and where together we can find a way to deal with the grief.
There are some great ressources out there, one of my favourite book about understanding losses is 'When bad things happen to good people' by Harold Kushner.
Another great resource is this website: https://lettersofhope.org.uk/, there is lots of information about grief and loss and great resources especially to help children dealing with loss.