Kate Heavey – BACP Accredited Psychotherapist and Counsellor. Qualified in Individual, Couple, Marriage and Two’s Counselling. Specialties – Relationships, Alcohol Addiction, Loss / Bereavement and Single-Session Therapy. Online Zoom, Skype and Phone Therapy in the UK + Worldwide.
This page is to give a very brief insight into what can be experienced when a bereavement or loss is felt. Everyone grieves differently and it is important that you grieve in the way that is right for you and take the time that you need.
What is bereavement / loss?
The word bereavement means ‘to be robbed of something valued’ and this can be a person or an attachment you have, i.e. work, death, illness, purpose, baby, etc.
There are two components to any bereavement or loss …. the actual loss and the anxiety which can be experienced due to the separation (attachment). It is important to work through both aspects so you are able to continue a bond with the loss you have had.
What is the impact of bereavement?
When you experience a loss or bereavement, i.e. death, divorce, redundancy, etc. your feelings are dependent on how close, or not, you were with the person, or the event, and how meaningful the relationship was to you. This is why bereavement and loss can take you by surprise and why you may find yourself here.
It may be you feel alone at this time feeling the world does not understand or wants you to move on yet you do not feel ready to. This can be further complicated if you are an expat living abroad away from your immediate family and friends.
It is at this stage that it is important to reach out to help process your feelings and thoughts as, at such times, it can really feel like you are just about holding on and more unpleasant feelings such as despair, guilt, anger, loneliness, may be felt.
Bereavement as a process
Stage One – Shock. The reality of your loss takes time to sink in.
Stage Two – Protest. There can be a want for your loss to not be real (denial).
Stage Three – Disorganisation. This can be the low point (I refer to this as your world picture shattering into a thousand pieces) as the reality of your loss starts to sink in.
Stage Four – Reorganisation. Life begins to rebuild as your loss is worked through (the pieces start to go back into your world picture) meaning you are able to start to move forward in life as you find ways to integrate your loss.
For me every aspect of my work is about loss and when working with bereavement I can guarantee you I will not be overwhelmed giving you the absolute freedom to be you in whatever shape or form that takes.
What can happen in society is that others are not able to ‘handle’ grief. They feel they have to do something yet, what is so important is the being with you. I will witness and acknowledge your pain whether this is by you feeling you want to re-tell your story for the tenth or the hundredth time or by being alongside you as you express and process your feelings. There can be strong feelings of anger, guilt, shame, over-responsibility, etc. and we will work on unburdening you by looking at the ‘what if’s’ with a view to moving to ‘even if I had’.
Grief and bereavement counselling is about you finding a way to integrate your losses as you start to build a life around the grief/loss. This helps move you from a helpless and hopeless state.
Whatever your need is I will be with you on your journey.
“Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining”.