Bereavement, grief and loss: like ripples in a pond

Grief, bereavement and loss counselling Totnes, Paignton and Newton Abbott

I’ve been reflecting on loss and bereavement this week, observing my own experience and those around me who are experiencing loss or who have experienced it recently.

When we lose someone or something we are attached to, the feelings of loss can be overwhelming. Where there was certainty, solidity, love, there is suddenly uncertainty, absence. But the love doesn’t go away; it suffers, aches, is hurt and bruised but it often survives the loss. Over time it may take a back seat, or even fade a bit, it stays as a resonant echo of the attachment and bond we felt so alive with and which was so alive before, like the ripples in the pond sent echoing from the stone tossed in.

Loss and bereavement can be felt in so many ways; memories are triggered by images, places, smells, tastes, music amongst others; or it’s felt in the body as an ache or a yearning. Sometimes you can feel your heart bruised, hurt or torn it seems by the pain of loss.

It also seems we are incredibly resilient in the face of loss. If you’ve experienced a bereavement or have observed others in it, their survival mechanisms are extraordinary in dealing with all that needs to be done including the pain of funerals and communicating with their wider community about what has happened.

But once this is past, loss can come calling far more powerfully. It’s what happens next which can be so difficult. Rage at what’s been left behind, loneliness, fear, longing, despair can all come up. That’s part of the natural cycle of coming to terms with the loss.

Some people make themselves incredibly busy to avoid these feelings for a time, but at some point they come back to visit in unexpected ways, even years later. Unexpressed grief is a common reason for coming to counselling.

As a counsellor in Totnes, Paignton and Newton Abbott, I see many clients who are experiencing loss, grief and bereavement. While the feeling may not have that label in the client’s mind, the unexpected outburst of rage, or tears that catch them off guard tells them something isn’t right. Or their body gets sick and can’t heal until the grief is addressed and dealt with.

If you’ve experienced loss and would like help to work through your feelings, whatever they are, with an experienced counsellor in Totnes, Paignton and Newton Abbott why not get in touch?

By Matt Fox – – Counselling in Totnes, Paignton and Newton Abbott

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Photo by Aidan Morgan licensed under Creative Commons