Grief can be like a title wave. One minute, our loved one is here. The next minute, they are not. The loss sweeps up every aspect of life. One minute, there is normalcy and comfort. The next minute, the whole world is off-kilter and unstable.
Tony understands. He lost his son to a horrible accident. One day, they were planning out this summer’s vacation, and the next, he was gone. There would be no summer plans. Tony was not prepared for this kind of loss. His friends and family members are doing their best to be supportive, but nothing is working. Nothing anyone has said or done can make the grief better.
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
Like many other people, Tony is experiencing grief—a normal response to any kind of loss. People often think of grieving after a loved one passes, but people feel grief after all kinds of losses. Unfortunately, life is full of loss—no one can escape it. Therefore, life is full of grief. It is a common but complex emotion. Often, people work with a therapist to navigate the extreme emotions that grief can trigger.
The therapists at Thriveworks Cedar Park have worked with many clients who have suffered a loss and who are trying to establish their new normal. Loss tears down, but life can be rebuilt. The grief can be mourned, and people can emerge stronger. Often, mental health professionals are guides and support on that recovery process.
Grief and loss are universal human experiences. There is no escaping grief because any loss can trigger it. Often, the more severe the loss and the more beloved the individual or object that is lost, the more severe the grief will be.
Big losses and small losses alike can trigger the grief cycle in an individual. There is no formula for sorrow, and no list could compile every loss an individual may experience, but a few examples of losses that have caused clients at Thriveworks Cedar Park to reach out for help include…
- A natural disaster
- Chronic health challenges
- Career change or job loss
- Becoming an empty-nester
- Death of a precious pet
- Loss of independence (especially with age)
- A disability or injury
- Divorce or break-up
- A friendship break-up
- Death of a family member, friend, or other loved one
Myths about Grief
Concerned loved ones may want to help. However, even the best of intentions do not always lead to helpful actions or words. During grief, friends and family members often unintentionally act upon certain untrue myths about grief. Instead of promoting healing, these misunderstands often make the wound even bigger. Sadly, these myths are prolific. A few examples include…
“Just give it time.”
It is true that healing takes time, but it takes so much more. Time alone does not heal all wounds. Grief must be processed and wounds need to be dressed. Sayings like this tend to minimize and downplay the severity of the loss. In the short-term, they may bring temporary relief to deny the pain, but in the long-term, it does not help.
“Let’s replace what was lost.”
It is normal to want to fill a void. However, in the wake of a loss, this is not always the right next step. Healing can take many paths, and sometimes, replacing what is lost is appropriate. Other times, it is not appropriate or possible.
“Are you still sad after all this time?”
Grief knows no timeline. Each individual heals at a different rate. It is normal for someone to grieve for months or even years. It is normal for grief to pop up on occasions randomly or decades after the loss. Grief is a big roller-coaster with many ups and downs.
Counseling for Loss and Grief
Everyone’s journey through grief is unique, but two goals are often part of healing from grief: understanding the past and working toward the future.
- Understanding the Past: When people look back at the loss, they often feel sadness or sorrow, but they may also feel relief, anger, regret, confusion, and more. Coming to grips with these emotions is often a big part of healing.
- Working toward the Future: When people talk about the grief cycle, one step is often acceptance. That is, as people heal, they are often able to envision a future after the loss. That may involve creating space for new routines, perspectives, or people. In the process, people often find happiness.
There is no magic formula that can heal loss and bypass grief. Often, the best option is to have a guide to lean upon during the journey. Many people go to counseling after they have experienced a loss.
Setting Up an Appointment for Grief Therapy at Thriveworks Cedar Park
Have you suffered a loss? It may have been recent, but it may have been years ago. In either case, you may be grieving. If you would like someone to lean upon as you navigate the ups and downs of loss, the mental health professionals at Thriveworks Cedar Park are ready to meet with you. When you call our office, know that you may have your first appointment within 24 hours. We offer evening and weekend sessions, and we accept many different forms of insurance. Call today.