Grief and Loss

Sometimes when a loved one dies we can experience traumatic grief. This occurs especially when the manner of death is sudden and unexpected, and when there is a element of trauma associated with it. For example if the death is by suicide, accident, terror attack or homicide. Traumatic grief may be experienced by a parent if their child dies or even if the death of a loved one is just sudden. Many circumstances may be the trigger.

Grief in this instance may become complicated and the griever may become stuck in their grieving so that it is difficult for them to carry on with their daily life. Nowadays it is not so much that you have to forget about your grief and move on, but find a way to remember your loved one in an enduring way. Worden suggested that there are 4 tasks of grieving. The first task is to accept the reality that the loved one has died on both a mental and emotional level. This may take some time. The second is to experience the pain of grief. The third is to adjust to a world in which the deceased is missing, and the fourth is to find an enduring connection with the deceased while embarking on a new life. While there is no prescription for the order in which these tasks are completed, if you think you might be stuck on one or more of them then it might be helpful to see a grief and loss counsellor.

If your loved one died more than 6 – 12 months ago or longer and you still feel anger, guilt and yearning for them, are perhaps having flashbacks in relation to the death event, and are avoiding reminders of your loss, then it is possible to get help. If your life is being disrupted by sleeping problems, lack of concentration, hypervigilance about something, or on edge continually then a grief and loss counsellor may hep you to engage in different thoughts around your loss, to process the emotions that are related to it and enable you to become unstuck and help you to organise your life how you want it now. You never really get over the loss of a loved one, but you can become able to live with that loss. Seeking professional help may be the best thing you can do right now.