Everyone deals with the death of a loved one differently but everyone, no matter how they choose to handle their grief, will need to talk about it to someone at some point. For some people, sitting down with a close friend or relative over a cup of tea can prove really helpful but for others, they may feel more comfortable going to talk to a professional counsellor about how they’re feeling.
Grief is a truly individual thing and it can affect you in a range of different ways and at different times, occasionally even suddenly creeping up on you when you least expect it and when you think you’re finally back on an even keel.
If you find your emotions are that intense that you feel as though you’re struggling and that you can’t go on or cope with daily life, you may need to ask for help from some quarter or other. Ask yourself if you’re finding it hard to socialise, look after your kids or go to work – and if the answers are yes, it’s important to go and seek the right kind of support.
Perhaps begin by speaking to your GP about how you’re feeling as they may be able to refer you for counselling, as well as providing you with information about local support groups and services.
Getting in touch with a hospice could help as they offer bereavement services for families. This would typically be available to the close family and friends of those who have received hospice care and how much support they can give you will depend on their resources.
Finding a private counsellor and paying for sessions may be the best option for some and you can find registered counsellors in your local area on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website.
And it might also be worth talking to your manager at work as they could also possibly run an employee assistance programme, through which you may be able to go on free counselling sessions.
If you know someone who is grieving over the death of someone close to them, one of the best courses of action you can take is to simply listen to them as they talk – if, of course, they want to talk about the person who has gone.
Do be there for them in some way or other if you can, whether that’s over the phone, by letter or email, or in person. Remember that everyone will grieve in their own way and there’s no normal or typical way to go through it.
Encourage them to talk and make sure you listen, creating an environment where they can be themselves and show how they’re feeling rather than putting on a front.
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