Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss

Many people associate the term grieving with a person (or pet) having passed away, but we experience the same type of grief process every time we encounter a significant sense of loss, regardless or the circumstances. Taking into consideration that losses represent endings, and that new beginnings must follow these ends, it is not surprising that many people struggle to let go of what has been familiar to them and instead move toward the unknown reality of these changes.

You might be losing your health, your quality of life, a relationship, your vocation as you take retirement, or your sense of identity and purpose as children grow up and leave home. It is impossible to measure how long it 'should' take to move on, let go, or spend less time thinking about the loss. Judgments like 'I should be over it by now' 'I need to toughen up' or 'I feel stupid for crying' only cause more emotional pain, shame, anger, and resentment.

Healing from grief cannot be rushed - it requires you being kind and patient with yourself as you transition between 'coming to terms with' and opening your heart to new possibilities.

There are a number of stages through which a person will experience grief and loss. These can include disbelief (this can't be true!); bargaining (I can change, things can be different, there must be another way); anger (this is your fault, this isn't fair, why me?); depression - the emptiness and despair that is felt as the reality of the situation starts to be realised; and finally, reaching a point of acceptance - having hope and ability to adjust to the new environment without that which you lost, so that you can invest in your new reality.

A person may go back and forth between these stages. If the loss came as a shock then there will be much disbelief. Bargaining behaviours play out because of denial - you don't want to believe that this is happening or happened. You try to effect change despite being powerless. You are likely to feel scared about the implication of the loss - how am I going to cope? Anger emerges and defends you from a host of more painful emotions like hurt, sadness and guilt - though these will need to be addressed and reconciled before healing from loss can continue. Your distress needs to be voiced, heard, seen, affirmed and acknowledged.

As a counsellor I can support you to work through your feelings associated with loss, especially when you feel unable to do that with others. Barriers to talking with a friend or family member can include not wanting to upset them, not wanting to come across as depressing, stuck, weak or needy; wanting to be strong for others you feel depend upon you; feeling like you should be over the loss by now; fear that talking aloud will make the loss feel real; fear that opening up will cause you to stop coping.

Suppressing your feelings and putting on a brave face can be a lonely place when you're grieving, so please reach out and be helped to share and express your unique and personal experience of loss. Remember, you can't compare your own experience of grief to that of somebody else who shared the same loss. You are on your own journey toward acceptance and adjustment, and they are on theirs. That's just how it is, and that's perfectly okay. Give yourself the time that you need.

You can read this update from Countryside Counselling on TFF's AGVendor...

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#YourHarvest campaign to show value of crops sector

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Written by Charlotte Cunningham

The NFU is kick starting its #YourHarvest campaign today and this year arable farmers are being asked to reach out to the public and MPs through social media to highlight the importance of a thriving crops sector in Britain. Charlotte Cunningham reports. According to the NFU, growers can get involved by taking a short video to explain what they do and where their produce goes, showing the public how the cereals sector delivers for both food production and the environment. Farmers can also ask their MP to back British arable farming through the development of the Trade and Agriculture Commission, the Agriculture Bill and a fit for purpose Environmental Land...