What is bereavement counselling
At times of the loss of a loved one, we all grieve differently. We may grieve for the loss of a loved one, a family pet, a miscarriage, a marriage ending or a breakdown of a long term relationship. So, what is bereavement counselling?
Some of us have a network of family and friends that offer support and a shoulder, but what happens after the furore dies down and all that is left is grief.
Bereavement counsellors give you an outlet to express your thoughts and feelings in an effort to help you deal with your loss. It gives you the opportunity to talk to someone about how you are feeling and help you throughout all the stages of grief and how you will be able to move on.
How do you feel
- Firstly you may go through a mixture of emotions ranging from anxiety, relief, guilt, sadness and feeling totally helpless.
- You may have trouble sleeping, expressing yourself, wanting to hide away from it all.
- You may feel numb and overwhelmed by the situation.
- You may not have anyone to talk to about your feelings.
- If you have children, you may be trying to make everything appear normal. You may also be showing your children impatience and not realising it or you may have given up correcting their bad behaviour.
- You may not be eating properly.
- You may be taking over the counter medication for headaches. If you are, consider taking turmeric capsules instead of paracetamol.
- You may have turned to alcohol or drugs to get through it. If you are taking drugs, click here for help. If you are drinking too much alcohol, click here for help.
How to deal with it
- Give yourself time and be kind to yourself.
- Use mindful breathing techniques to help calm you.
- Let yourself heal before you commit to any major decisions. Do not put yourself under any pressure.
- Talk to someone whether that be a family member or close friend. You can also talk to your GP who will be able to offer further guidance.
- If you feel sad, be sad. If it makes it easier for you to be sad on your own at night, then do whatever it is you feel you want to do.
- Do not be pressured by anyone. Family members and close friends should not give you any problems and if they do, give them a wide birth until you feel able to handle them.
- Keep yourself active. If you used to go for a run, keep doing it. If you used to cook for your family, carry on as normal.
- If you have isolated yourself, do try to get out, even if to just pop to the shop at the end of the road.
- Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals – try not to drink too much caffeine and monitor your alcohol intake.
- If you have children, it is okay for them to see you cry but make sure you reassure them that whatever is going on is not their fault. Keep their routine as normal as possible. Let them talk to you about it.
When you should get help
- If you are having trouble sleeping.
- If you feel unable to cope.
- Your relationship with your partner, children or family members is suffering.
- You are becoming forgetful.
- You feel constantly drained and your emotions are not subsiding after a few months.
Where can you get help
Your local GP should be your first point of call. Be open and honest when talking with your GP and he or she will direct to you bereavement counselling services on the NHS.