Grief - and healing - has its own timetable
As stated previously, most of us recover from our losses with the love and support of others, our own personality traits or strengths and our belief or faith. Counseling and therapy is most beneficial when we are reluctant to reach out to others for support, when we do not have supportive others we can rely upon, when a loss is of a nature that is difficult to understand by most others or could be subject to criticism (suicide, moves to new locations, a violent incident, unexpected losses, miscarriages, health changes and financial losses). Therapy can also help free us from our silence when we fear what we say may be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Parents are particularly challenged when trying to help their growing children who experience loss. Our ever-changing world has necessitated parents to be both reassuring and protective in the face of increased uncertainty in the worlds of our children. Parents have many resources that help with navigating child development but they have very few evidence based trusted sources in helping to raise children that experience traumatic, sudden and unexpected losses. As parents experience their own losses, they may find that counseling can help them to use their experiences to teach and support their children. Grief looks different in children and counseling can help parents to identify and comfort their children during a loss. Counseling also provides a resource to parents who need special help in determining if their child’s behavior or thoughts are congruent with developmentally appropriate responses to loss.
Grief counseling and therapy is beneficial because it allows us to openly talk about our losses and how we feel about them in a non-judgmental way. Grief therapists provide a very caring, supportive space where strong emotions can be aired and explored in an environment that is different than our normal relationships. We are able to tell our own story of our loss and then look at the ways we are changed by it. At last, we are able to view ourselves as survivors who carry the strength gained during the relationship with whom or what was lost. Grief counseling is not about quick resolutions or recoveries back to our pre-loss. Grief counseling is about moving forward in a changed world where we take the past and use it as a source of strength for the future.