The term ‘grief’ describes the emotional pain we feel in response to a personal loss and/or tragedy. There are many events in life that can trigger grief – the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or traumatic experience, to name a few. Though each person experiences grief differently, experts agree that most sufferers need strong support from others. If you are struggling with grief, our compassionate counselors can help you process your emotions and learn effective coping skills.
Each of us copes with loss differently, and the way in which you process your grief will depend upon your personality and life circumstances, as well as the nature of the loss. The first step toward healing is to seek support—find someone with whom you can share your raw feelings without fear or discomfort. Talking to friends and family can be helpful, but a trained counselor will be able to use his or her expertise to guide you toward healing and recovery. Remember to take care of yourself and give yourself grace.
Persons who are grieving often feel torn between a desire to isolate themselves, and the need for supportive human relationships. Grief puts a strain on our relationships, but it is important for you to seek the company of trusted loved ones as you process your experience. People often simply don’t know how to help, so be clear about your needs and boundaries. You may wish to find a bereavement support group; these foster healing through solidarity, and a trained facilitator can help you work through the challenges of grief.
By Spencer Fox,
Posted September 18th, 2018
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Grief is never something you get over. You don’t wake up one morning and say, “I’ve conquered that; now I’m moving on.” It’s something that walks beside you every day. And if you can learn how to manage it and honour the person that you miss, you can take something that is incredibly sad and have some form of positivity. – Terri Irwin, widowed wife of Steve Irwin
Grief comes at us hard. Whether we had time to prepare for its onset or not, no one is ever really ready for the experience of loss. It is painful, messy, confusing, and constantly in flux. Grief is the soul’s adjustment process and growing pains to a new life situation. Further, it is often shrouded in mystery in terms of what is “acceptable grief.”
Since everyone experiences the grief process differently, we often shy away from sharing our experience or listening to how our loved ones experience it.
C.S. Lewis had this to say about it: “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.’”
When our tooth aches, we go to the dentist. When our arm is broken, we go to the doctor. Physical pains have visible causes and clear solutions. The emotional pain caused by grief is so much
By Maryann Stigen,
Posted September 12th, 2018
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“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly – that still hurts when the weather gets cold. But you learn to dance with the limp.” – Anne Lamott
I am writing about one of life’s most uncomfortable and difficult topics to discuss – grief. This topic is so much more poignant and sensitive to the touch for me right now, as I have been walking through some personal grief recently that happens to be associated directly with this line of work that I have been called to do.
I must admit, as a counselor, grief is one of the toughest topics for me to grapple with when I am sitting across from you and you’re in the midst of heartbreak and loss. Your world has just been forever changed; the reality that you have been accustomed to is now forever different.
As someone whose job it is to sit with you and share in this heartache, I find that no matter how many skills or tools, or how much knowledge or education I have for you during this time, I am still as human as you are, with
By Patricia Lyon,
Posted August 8th, 2018
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As we seek to understand our own grief process, this article will draw from the resource, Understanding Your Grief, by Alan Wolfelt to outline ten essential touchstones.
Touchstone One: Open to the Presence of Your Loss
“You have probably been taught that pain is an indication that something is wrong and that you should find ways to alleviate the pain.
In our culture, pain and feelings of loss are experiences most people try to avoid. Why? Because the role of pain and suffering is misunderstood. Normal thoughts and feelings after a loss are often seen as unnecessary and inappropriate.”
“You will learn over time that the pain of your grief will keep trying to get your attention until you have the courage to gently, and in small doses, open to its presence. The alternative – denying or suppressing your pain – is, in fact, more painful. I have learned that the pain that surrounds the closed heart of grief is the pain of living against yourself, the pain of denying how the loss changes you, the pain of feeling alone and isolated – unable to openly mourn, unable to love and be loved by those around you.”
Setting our intention to heal is a commitment to sometimes being frightened, painful, and often lonely. No words can take away the pain. However, an intentional letting ourselves be as we are – in our uniqueness – and allowing what is in us to be experienced