Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
Coming to terms with knowing you or someone you love is dying can be both surreal and painful. Saying goodbye is usually a time we feel unprepared for, and which can bring up memories, questions and ‘unfinished business’. Sometimes, there is concern about whether a life has has been lived well enough; whether enough has been done through life; how do we prepare loved ones and especially children; and will the person being left behind cope.
Things we may talk about include the worry of losing or leaving loved ones, making meaning of life – and death, and/or finding one’s spiritual path. We explore how to live with dignity, and how to die with grace.
This may include:
- Making memories
- Talking with, and including children
- How to maintain intimate relationships
- How to have difficult conversations with those you love
Grief is not experienced just for people we know who have died. Grief can be felt when life is irrevocably changed or what we wished and or hoped for does not occur. The loss of becoming a parent, having a loved one with dementia or debilitating illness, the loss of a pet, or the ending of significant relationships. The realisation of ageing and accomplishments which did not eventuate, moving from our home, town, or country, or losing a job which gave us our identity and meaning. All are losses to be grieved.
Sometimes grief is not recognised or allowed to be recognised or can be minimised or not validated by society. This grief can include for example transgenerational and intergenerational grief, displacement, the traumatic grief of assault, or a loss where the relationship is not recognised.
Each person’s experience is deeply unique and grief can begin long before someone dies. Sometimes feelings can centre around love – and sometimes they can involve guilt, regret or remorse. Every situation and life story is different. Whatever the reason or circumstances are for each of us, our grief is unique and real. Words such as ‘getting over it’, or ‘moving on’, can be unhelpful and isolating, and are usually voiced because another person is uncomfortable with their own emotions/feelings. In our busy world we are also sometimes put on time limits – yet there are no timeframes for grief – which occurs in its own time.
Many people do not need counselling and friends and family support can be enough. But there can be times where being able to speak without filter can be beneficial. Bereavement counselling can offer a place and space where there are no timeframes or expectations – a place to share stories of the past and present, and to make meaning of a world without the deceased physically in it. Bereavement counselling can also be helpful when friends and family go back to a life, that for the bereaved, can feel like it’s standing still.
Bereavement counselling is about providing a deeply respectful space, where the therapist can bare witness to whatever is brought into the room. The space at Satori offers a sanctuary for this work.
Coming to Satori
The grief that accompanies loss is not a medical condition but a human experience. While medication and diagnosis may be helpful, I truly believe we each have the capacity within ourselves to heal, grow and transform. Satori offers a safe and kind environment where you will be heard, and your experience will be treated with respect and care.