When someone close to you dies, it can be devastating. You may be overwhelmed with grief, anger, guilt – so many emotions it can be frightening. Even with helpful and supportive family or friends it can be hard to cope, and sometimes other people don’t know what to say or old family difficulties can resurface.
Bereavement counselling is a way of helping you deal with your feelings. At New Leaf, professional counsellors give you the space to express your emotions in a supported way, to talk about the person you have lost and the enormous impact it is having on your life.
Bereavement affects people in different ways, whatever their stage in life. A sense of shock and disorientation, anger, guilt, depression, exhaustion, overwhelming sadness – these are common feelings and there is no right or wrong way to feel. Everyone may experience some or all of these emotions as a part of their loss but help is at hand when needed most.
Experts agree there are four stages of bereavement – accepting that your loss is real; experiencing the pain of grief; adjusting to life without the person who has died; starting to move on – but it is not a smooth transition.
Children grieve differently to adults and it can appear their suffering is not as deep. It is natural for them to switch to play; they may not have the vocabulary to communicate their negative feelings, or may not want to upset you. It is important not to underestimate their loss or to assume a child is too young to be bereaved. At New Leaf, counsellors can explore with you how best to help them at times of family grief.