The Journey of Grief and Loss

The Journey of Grief and LossThe topic of grief-and-loss is painful, both emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. Grief is a universal human experience that we are all going to face at some point in our lives. Having community support in place can be a powerful part of the healing process.

The loss of a loved one may be somewhat predictable such as when an elderly parent or grandparent nears the end of their life. Other times, it may happen quickly and without little warning.

For loved ones experiencing chronic or life-threatening medical issues, seeing one in pain is so heartbreaking, especially when you are a caregiver and are a first-had witness to declining health.

Parents and caregivers for children, children who are caring for an aging parent, and individuals facing the inevitable loss of a partner or loved one as they approach the end of life may be struggling to take care of themselves as they are caring for others.

There are many different types of grief and loss experiences and the responses will vary. In traumatic-grief situations in which the death is violent or accidental one may experience persistent, prolonged-grief. Sudden, unexpected loss such as suicide or death from an accidental medical complication may also precede a traumatic or prolonged grief response. Certain types of death such as grieving-the-death-of-a-child can be especially devastating. In situations where it seems like the laws of the universe have been violated and life was taken too soon, individuals may blame themselves, God, the universe, or a higher power as they are surrounded by grief.

Loss of life brings up a variety of emotions such as sadness, sorrow, loneliness, anger, guilt, and longing. Grief-affects-your-body-and-mind. Common physical symptoms can include headache, dry mouth, physical pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, and appetite changes. Emotions that are causing intense emotional pain or disruptions to daily living such as severe or persistent-depression, significant avoidance or detachment from others, emotional numbness, a sense of meaninglessness, and suicidal thoughts are signs to look out for. In cases where mental health or physical symptoms are life-threatening such as suicide or serious chest pain, call 911.

Please take care of yourself and allow yourself to grieve. There is no right or wrong way to grieve a loss. There is no target end date as grief often comes in waves. Time can help heal, as well seeking out support such as supportive family, friends, and spiritual and cultural resources.

Our therapists at CARE Counseling have same-week availability to help support you through navigating your journey of grief and loss and would love to get you connected to ongoing support, so you are not walking through a dark time alone.

Grief and Loss Resources and Support Groups:

Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

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