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.
Grief Stages and Dealing with Death Across the Globe
By Rachel Mckay,
Posted January 5th, 2018
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Birth and death are the two indisputable experiences that we share as humans. Each person has entered the world from the womb and will one day die. We join the world screaming, unaware of self and others and begin, well … being. It is a bright time brimming with possibility. There is a middle, where we are now, and where we focus most of our attention. And then there is death – a universal reality. Heavy, dark, and mysterious.
Despite the hard facts of the life cycle, the way we approach death varies greatly. I wish that I could tell you “There is one way that humans deal with death. Pay attention and I’ll give you the steps to avoiding the pain that accompanies it.” Much to my disappointment, and I’m sure yours as well, that just isn’t the way death works and that is not the direction this article is going.
Consider your own thoughts about death. Probably different from a six-year old’s, right? A six-year-old may realize that when a person dies they will no longer be around, but perhaps the complexity in which they understand the death will develop at a later age.
Similarly, the emotional response to death, known as grief, is different from person to person. Age, environment, and religious beliefs are key factors in an individual’s narrative of death (experiences with death, the meaning of death, and thoughts of how to handle death).
The Holidays: Bringing you Good Cheer or Heartache?
By Jessica Berg,
Posted December 15th, 2016
Tags: Holiday Stress
What Do the Holidays Mean to You?
When the Christmas music starts, the decorations in stores begin to change, how do you feel? A lot of people get excited, anticipating the holiday season and love this time of year! But for others who have been through difficulties in the previous year, the holiday season can bring on undue anxiety, stress, depression, and thoughts of hopelessness and loneliness. There is a reason counselors see an increase in clientele during the holiday season, as unfortunately, it can bring up many things for individuals. Some people may have relatives who were close to them, who passed away this time of year, which makes it especially hard to celebrate the joy that this season can bring. It can also be a time of reflection over the past year, which can bring up anxiety and sadness for those who felt that their year was a tough one.
What do you do to handle your holiday stress? Do you keep it inside and not let anyone know how you are feeling? Often this is what we tend to do, as talking about difficult topics is not something that comes naturally to anyone. Something that can be helpful this time of year when you are experiencing this sadness and loss, is to talk about it more and seek out help if necessary. We are not meant to do this life alone. This
Navigating Grief and Loss: Finding a Grief Pathway that Works for You
By Chris Lewis,
Posted June 23rd, 2016
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Endings and Leavings | Part 9 of a 9-part series on the deeper Self that awakens in laboring through grief, living through loss, and embracing endings as the seedbed of new beginnings.
The first eight articles in this series sought to explore endings as a reflection of the mystery and complexity that both nuances and nurtures our humanity.
That grief can pull us into the gray, and defy words, doesn’t mean that it lacks definition. At times grief work must respect the human need to categorize and compartmentalize our experience.
The grieving process is shaped by many variables: the type of loss experienced, one’s personality and culture, a person’s individualized style of grieving, and to what degree the loss is complicated by associated trauma or other unresolved, complicating factors.
The following grief synopsis is adapted from Dr. Steven Maybell’s work as director of the Student Counseling Center at Seattle Pacific University.
As Maybell notes, “Grief is not just a response to death, but a response to loss.”
Types of Loss
Concrete Loss: Loss that is tangible, observable, or easily identifiable – a house, a limb, a loved one, a valued possession, health, function or ability, activities, etc.
Symbolic Loss: Loss related to an aspect of one’s identity, or how the Self is defined, perceived or valued. Includes the loss of honesty, respect, integrity, effectiveness, power, strength, love, etc.
Normal or Uncomplicated Loss: Often related to losing a meaningful attachment figure in one’s life. While difficult to bear given the relationship’s