Are You Or Someone You Know Experiencing Difficulties Due To Grief And Loss?
Are you, or someone you know, experiencing overwhelming feelings of grief due to the loss of a spouse, life partner or close relation? Is your anxiety and sadness controlling you? Does it seem as if the pain and heartache will never go away? Are you given to fits of crying? Do the added burdens of getting through life’s day-to-day routines seem too much to handle? Is insomnia, shortness of breath, panic attacks or other physical ailments or feelings of isolation and numbness compounding your sense of loss? Does life suddenly seem to be without definition or purpose?
If you’re like most seniors, the experience of grief and loss, although a natural part of life, too often creates a sense of helplessness, depression, and disengagement. In a culture that expects you to “get over it” and move on, you might feel like you’re left with little choice but to further disconnect from a world that doesn’t understand the depth of your loss, and limits its time and expression.
A New Normal
What’s important to know is that what you’re feeling is normal. And furthermore it is entirely appropriate to seek and address aspects of your grief, which many times friends and family have a hard time relating to. While you might feel—what’s the point? Identifying and sharing your feelings can be extremely helpful. The time and the methods needed to heal oneself and discover the “new normal” are different for everyone, and that’s when a well-trained professional, as research proves, can support and guide you through your journey of reassessment, reestablishment and renewal.
Therapy Can Provide The Tools For Acceptance And Transformation
Therapy can help. With the loss of a loved one you may feel it is impossible to bury your grief, but with a good therapist you can begin acquiring the necessary tools to come to terms with where you are right now in your life, and begin to reignite a sense of identity and renewed purpose. Grief need not be stagnant. A well-trained BPS therapist, who knows there is no timetable for the grieving process, will lend support and guidance each step of the way.
At BPS we understand that your grief is a singular and personal experience. You are where you are supposed to be at present, and a qualified BPS therapist will meet you wherever that may be—and help guide you towards a place of acceptance and transformation.
But, you still may have questions or fears…
I’ve thought about therapy, but wouldn’t that be like rubbing salt in the wound?
While it’s true therapy doesn’t turn back the hands of time, identifying and sharing feelings of loss with a professional trained in grief and loss issues does help to shift the experience so that it can become integrated into your life, instead of being the cause of confusion and disconnectedness. To achieve a sense of balance and wholeness is entirely possible, and that’s why at BPS we will work to put you in touch with a therapist especially qualified to deal with your needs; someone who is right for you.
I know I’m having a hard time getting over it, but isn’t this how I’m supposed to feel? Don’t most people just stay strong, bear it, and get through life?
Depression is not part of the ageing process. It is unnecessary and treatable. An enriched and fulfilling life is possible. While many people like you are afraid to “stir up the pot” of emotions, most if not all find that unexpressed grief never really goes away. The presence of a trained and trusted professional with whom you can explore and experience your feelings of anger, frustration and despondency can and does help. Therapy also has the added potential benefit of dealing with some of the more physical aspects of the grieving process, such as sleep and memory issues.
I can’t seem to control my emotions. I feel anxious and panicky one moment, and then frustrated or angry the next.
Isolation, anger, depression, confusion, are all part of the grieving process, but a good therapist can help you to identify and resolve the multiplicity of (sometimes undefined) issues that often accompany loss. Issues having to do with mobility, finance, diminishing support systems, etc., that all too often do not receive adequate attention but need to be dealt with as well. A well-trained therapist can identify and assist you with the many aspects of loss, helping you come to terms with them and begin to reclaim a full and healthy life.
We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.
You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a therapist who has expertise working with issues of grief and loss.