Do you feel overwhelmed by the loss of a loved one?
• Since the loss of your friend, partner, or family member, is life feeling like a roller coaster?
• Do painful feelings related to your loss sneak up on you unexpectedly?
• Have you ever wondered how long this difficulty will last?
• Are you wishing you could just get over it already?
• Do you find that talking with the people in your life, even though they have good intentions, is not always helpful?
The death of a loved one can be a devastating experience. The emotional intensity of loss can be all over the map, ranging from grief to rage to despair to relief and more. You might also experience the strangeness of having your day-to-day reality change so dramatically while the mundane details of life continue. There can be a sense of wondering, “When will things get back to normal?” or “Will I ever feel okay again?” If you aren’t getting the support you need isolation can creep in, which only makes things worse. Feeling like no one understands can become an added burden on top of the painful feelings you may already be experiencing. It can feel impossible to navigate a way forward while trying to cope with so many emotions.
Most of us never learned what to do when someone we love dies.
Somewhere along the way American and European culture lost the ritual aspect of dealing with death. While every person grieves differently, no one is meant to grieve alone, and we all need some form of support in order to process the death of someone we care about. Dominant cultural norms often encourage us to get over it and move on as quickly as possible. As a result, we never learned how to be with death or how to be with our personal experience of losing someone. It can feel like having no idea what to do. There is also the tendency to want to skip over the uncomfortable emotions that are part of acknowledging loss and grieving what is no more. The feelings are so painful that many people try to ignore their feelings and move on to the next thing as quickly as possible.
The good news is that grief and loss counseling can provide you the support you need to cope with the death of your loved one, to honor the memory of that person, and to move forward with your life.
You have the innate ability to recover from death and loss in your life and to start again.
You might be feeling like the pain will never end. Perhaps you have a bottomless well of sadness inside you that never seems to empty no matter how many tears you cry. With help you can learn how to cope with your grief and move forward with your life. It is unlikely you will ever be completely done grieving; however, it can become considerably less intense, less frequent, and less time consuming than it is right now. Your grief can shift and you can live with grief in new ways that feel supportive, insightful, and even empowering.
Grief counseling can help you discover a way forward after someone dies.
Death and loss are an inevitable part of life, and as a Registered Psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado and a Certified Life Coach I have worked extensively with these issues both personally and professionally. I offer a unique perspective in that I know how painful death and loss can feel, and at the same time, I have lived through these experiences and come out on the other side. I know what is possible. Whether the loss you are struggling with happened this year or thirty years ago, grief counseling can help you transform a devastating experience into a source of learning, growth, and development.
In our sessions you will have the opportunity to explore your personal experience of death and loss in its entirety. You will come to understand that there is no such thing as feelings that are “wrong” or “bad.” You will have the sense of being fully supported as you dive into the complexity of your emotions around what happened. You might believe that the only emotions you are supposed to feel are grief and sadness. Working together, we can welcome all the feelings that are there. In my work in Denver, Colorado, many clients report that the simple acknowledgement of their true experience is extremely beneficial. They leave sessions feeling lighter, less burdened, and more energized.
You may feel that you want to focus on coping with daily life in the midst of adjusting to your new reality. Grief counseling and grief therapy can help you learn practical coping skills for getting through the day. You will learn what you can do in those particular moments when grief feels overwhelming. Clients often feel a huge sense of relief in knowing they have a set of go-to activities that can help alleviate the intense emotions associated with death and loss.
I trained at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Caregiving. As part of that training I engaged with facing the reality of death and loss as an integral part of life. I personally grieved the loss of relationships with family members who are still alive. This is another complicated dimension of loss that I am intimately familiar with. I can help you find a new way of relating to the devastation of death and loss that you have experienced. Through our work you will be supported in your own personal journey towards healing, growth, and development.
You might be feeling embarrassed or frustrated that you can’t just get over your loss and move on with your life.
An important aspect of moving on is the willingness to feel your feelings. Paradoxically, it is in the trying to avoid the pain of loss, or in believing that we can just skip over the grief associated with loss, that we create a great deal of suffering for ourselves.
When you stop resisting grief, and allow yourself to feel it, there is a tremendous amount of emotional relief. Ultimately, with time, the intensity of the grief lessens considerably. Also, because you have now experienced your grief, you no longer fear it. For many people, the absence of fear is an incredible source of emotional liberation.
Many people seek brief grief counseling. We live in a world of planning and scheduling, and you might have ideas about what is an acceptable amount of time to feel upset. The more you can let go of any timelines, and any other aspect of grieving that you want to control, the more you will get out of the way of your own recovery process.
Perhaps you believe grieving is something to do privately, and you are uncomfortable expressing your grief to another person.
Even though you might believe you have to do it all on your own, the truth is that you are not meant to do life alone. We exist in relationship to others, and we process our thoughts and feelings in a different way when another person is present. Being witnessed by someone else is an extremely powerful force for healing.
It is also important to remember that grieving cannot be contained within the time frame of one grief counseling session. The more open you are to allowing yourself to have your process, the more opportunity there will be to grieve in private outside of the session. The support you receive when we are together will help you cope with grieving as and when it comes up in everyday life.
Maybe your grief is complicated by trauma or anxiety.
If you have experienced trauma in connection with the person you are grieving, your grief might feel more complicated. You might feel sad about this person’s death, and at the same time, you might also be experiencing a sense of relief. These types of emotions can be confusing and difficult to navigate. I can support you with trauma and grief counseling in a way that is respectful of your experience. You can determine how fast or slow you want to go. You can be in control of when and how to work with memories and past experiences.
I also support clients simultaneously with grief and anxiety counseling. Anxiety can come up for a number of reasons, including fearing the painful feelings associated with death or loss. Additionally, if you have experienced trauma, unconscious fears may be triggering anxiety in response to present day situations. We can work through both of these issue in a way that feels supportive and honors your lived experience.
From the blog...
Grief and loss are difficult to navigate and you are not meant to do it alone.
I am located in Denver, Colorado and I see clients in person and via video conference. Use the link below to schedule a phone call where we can discuss your needs and how we might work together, or to schedule an appointment.