Grief and Loss Counseling – Bereavement Therapists in Marietta, GA
“My best friend died last year of an unexpected heart attack. I’ll never forget sitting in the waiting area at the emergency room, waiting to hear whether or not he was okay. He was only in his 40s. We lived together, so I’ve had to deal with all of his things and his personal business as though he were a spouse. I’ve lost my roommate, my confidante. I thought we would be old folks in the nursing home together. I don’t know how to get back to normal when my whole life is different. Once or twice, I’ve even caught myself feeling kind of angry at him.”
We will all experience the loss of a loved one at some point. Some of us will experience tragic loss early in life, and others will be taken aback by it when it first happens in midlife. Whenever we first experience a loss, it can be very difficult, heartbreaking even. Although we all intellectually know that death is a certainty in life, we are almost never prepared for it or the many feelings it leaves in its wake.
Symptoms of Grief
Grief, like many other psychological phenomena, can cause both mental/emotional and physical changes. It’s likely you are experiencing one or all of the symptoms listed below. These changes are completely normal, but they are also unhealthy if maintained long term. During this difficult time, be gentle with yourself, and if you need some extra help, give us a call.
You may notice that many of the symptoms listed are from either end of a spectrum. Everyone responds differently to grief. Whatever you are experiencing is valid.
Some symptoms of grief include (Wheeler-Roy):
Overeating or loss of appetite—Even daily stress can cause us to eat more than usual to comfort ourselves, and grief is much more than “regular” stress. Similarly, some people respond to emotional turmoil by loosing their appetite.
Sleep disturbances, including sleeping more than usual or not sleeping as much, or sleep plagued by tough dreams.
Aggressive or withdrawn behavior—It’s common for grief to cause us to lash out at others or avoid interaction.
Health flare-ups (often caused by the changes in eating and sleep patterns)—Though this isn’t unusual, it’s one of the reasons that it’s important to seek help if you need it. A momentary rise in blood pressure is one thing, but long term it can cause significant problems.
Emotional instability—If you’ve just lost someone, it’s completely understandable that you might randomly cry at someone’s joke. It’s also understandable that you might feel the urge to laugh at an otherwise sad moment.
Hyperactivity—People often bury themselves in activity as a way to keep from ruminating too deeply on what’s troubling them. So too do some find they haven’t left bed in days.
Hopelessness—At some moments, it may feel like things will never be okay again. They certainly won’t be like they were before, but with the help of a grief counselor, you can regain your hope for the future.
Grief Counseling — Marietta
Grief counseling is a form of therapy that helps a person process a death in a meaningful, compassionate way. It is not possible to get back to normal, to exactly the way things were before the death occurred, but it is possible to create a new normal, with respect to the person that has passed away. Grief counseling with a Thriveworks Marietta counselor will help you remember the person that you are missing in a healthy way, while also helping you to not become overwhelmed by sadness and regret.
There are many serious losses we can experience. It’s possible that when you imagine grief counseling, you think of a loss such as a child, spouse, or parent. However, the loss of a friend, acquaintance, or even a pet can have a lasting impact in your life, and so there is no need to feel embarrassed about needing some help processing that loss. Experiencing death can bring up a great deal of intense emotions, no matter what the type of relationship.
When is Grief Counseling Appropriate?
It’s important to realize that grief is a process. That process includes mourning the friend or loved one’s death, missing them, and remembering them—but it should eventually lead to an acceptance of the loss that results in an ability to remember the good times, even if they are somewhat bittersweet. That process may take months. No one expects you to recover from a loss after only a few days.
If after several months the pain of the loss hasn’t become less acute, or if at any point you feel like you need someone to talk to, we urge you to give us a call. We want to help you process grief in a healthy way that allows you to move forward with your life.
Thriveworks Marietta Grief Counseling
Thriveworks Marietta, GA grief counselors are standing by to help you process the loss you have experienced. We are licensed, trained professionals that are ready and able to help you create a new normal. We understand that you may have experienced a tragic event and need help immediately. With respect to your time and feelings, we have appointments available for new clients within 24 hours.
It would be our honor to help you in your time of need.
Wheeler-Roy, Susan. EdD. Bernard A. Amyot. MS, MA. Grief Counseling Resource Guide: A Field Manual. 2004. New York State Office of Mental Health. Omh.ny.gov