On multiple occasions, individuals seek to rush through the grieving process hoping to eradicate the pain and emotion. They look to reach the finish line of a incorrect timeline set by others. They feel grief has an expiration time and must be resolved. In many ways, they view grief as a pathological parasite that is preventing them from healing. While grief is an adapting period to loss and pain, there is no set time table for complete. In reality, noone truly recovers from grief or loss, if one did, then the loss would have little value.
Recovery from grief is a myth. Adjustment is the only reality. There is healthy adjustment and pathological un-adjustment, but ultimately, grief remains part of the human condition. Hence if one does not achieve closure to loss, that is fine. It is OK to not to find the perfect closure to a loss. In fact, it is quite normal not find closure to something we lost. It is the price of love not to be OK with losing someone special but we learn to adjust and manage that loss.
The article, “Closure Isn’t a Thing in Grief and That’s Okay” from Whats Your Grief presents an excellent review regarding grief and closure. The article states,
“There are a handful of reasons why people expect closure in grief. For much of our history, grief theory models have given people the impression that grief follows a set of stages or tasks. So, many people think grief is a finite process with a beginning and an end.”
With so many tasks, or steps, it is easy to misunderstand the science of grief. It is easy to think their is an end, but these tasks and steps are only guidelines presented that are truly not a system that all follow or must follow but merely are a collection of ideas regarding grief and how individuals face grief. Grief is messy and it bounces all over. These guidelines are merely guidelines to outline how one can find a healthy adaptation not necessarily an elimination of all emotion over the loss.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Depression is not merely sadness but is a complication of grief itself. It is even beyond loss gone wrong and failure to adjust but can be random and without loss to identify. Depression can cause extreme and intense sadness over an extended period of time with a multitude of symptoms. Hopelessness, loss of interest in life, intense sadness, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, inability to communicate, decreased energy, irritability and thoughts of suicide are all symptoms of depression.
Depression is not something a certified grief counselor who is not licensed in counseling can deal with alone. If not licensed, and a grief counselor, it is essential to identify the depression and refer the patient to a licensed professional counselor who can provide the therapy and if necessary medications needed for the patient.
The article, “What Is Major Depressive Disorder?” by Jen Sinrich looks at the different types of depression that exist and symptoms to look out for in patients. She states,
“This serious condition is far more than a bout of the blues. Depression is a persistent condition that diminishes a person’s ability to function in their day-to-day life and can manifest with physical symptoms as well, including chronic pain or gastrointestinal problems.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling
Losing a mother is one of the greatest losses anyone can imagine. Either parent is difficult for any well adjusted person. The loss of a parent is painful regardless of circumstances. Some may lose a parent earlier in life, or tragically and this all leads to possible complications in the grieving cycle, but whether one loses a parent suddenly or one is prepared, the loss is still immense and leaves a hole in one’s heart. There is no recovery only adjustment.
The article, “Finding Freedom From Grief” by Olivia Scott looks at the pains of losing a parent and how it s a critical journey for everyone in their development when the eventual day occurs. She states,
“Losing your mother leaves a void in your heart and life which is never filled. No matter your age at the time of her death. I know this, because I lost my mother in 2002. I was 28.”
She goes on to continue with her story and the pain she faced and the lessons she learned as she grieved her mother. It brought to her many conclusions about life but also about life after your mother is gone. The horrible feelings of being “motherless” and also new ideas of being a mother and not being there for one’s daughter. To read the entire article, please click here
Grief and loss are hard adjustments when losing a mother. As the article points out, treasure the moments you have with your mother and parents while they are alive. Do not take any time for granted and enjoy their presence and guidance. There will come a time, we must all face, when we no longer have them in this life and that thought is terrible enough.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four certification in Grief Counseling
One type of grief and loss that is dismissed by many are breakups. Many people shout “get over it” or “you barely knew her or him” or even, “it is time to meet someone now”. These types of losses can be disenfranchised for many. With so many breakups throughout the country, people are constantly grieving the loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend. It is a difficult adaptation for those in more serious relationships but even the smallest relationship can leave one upset for weeks
The article, “Grief After a Breakup: Three Things You Should Know” from Whats Your Grief reviews some ways to better cope and what to expect. The article states,
“Breaking up is really hard to do. Most of us know what it’s like to suffer a broken heart. Many of us know how complicated it is to separate two lives intricately intertwined. Being that we’ve all probably experienced some form of breakup grief, we know stressful, ongoing, and overwhelming this experience of loss can be.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and is open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Miscarriage loss is many times a loss suffered alone. It is disenfranchised and belittled at times because the child was not born. Pending on the time period of the miscarriage, determines the greater loss but many women regardless feel a special connection and their bodies react to the loss.
The article, “11 things you should know about grief after miscarriage or baby loss” from Asiaone looks at this type of loss in greater depth. The article states,
“The aftermath of losing a baby during pregnancy is haunting. You have your precious baby inside you — and then the world comes to a halt, when you learn you’ve lost that part of you. There are very few words to explain the depth of despair that a woman goes through as she grapples with this devastating loss.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training to learn more how to help individuals with loss. Trained certified grief counselors can help those deal with the loss of miscarriage and guide them through the pain
Many individuals experience fatigue and tiredness. It is not necessarily a sign for alarm, but in some cases, chronic fatigue can point to a deeper issue. Fatigue and lack of energy is also closely correlated with depression. Numerous depressed individuals find themselves fatigued and tired without realizing fatigue is a physical symptom of depression.
The article, “When Being Tired Is Actually Depression” by Catherine Pearson looks at how fatigue sometimes can be a sign of depression. She states,
“Depression may be among the most common mental health issues in the United States, but it is still often misunderstood. Many people assume that the condition manifests itself in really overt sorrow and hopelessness. But the symptoms tend to be much broader, and often more subtle. Including fatigue”
If a client expresses chronic fatigue, it may be time to explore the possibility of depression. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training Program. Licensed counselors, as well as non counselors can become certified in grief counseling and utilize it in care. Only licensed counselors can work with others regarding depression. It is important that certified grief counselors who are not licensed counselors also refer their clients to licensed counselors if they suspect depression.
Depression in women is unique and different from men. One in ten women face depression and during it they express more hopelessness and loneliness. Their eating and sleeping habits are sometimes altered and they move away from activities that they enjoy. Many women express how they feel differently then men.
The article, “A Depressed Mom’s Tips: What You Need to Know in Order to Help” by Kimberly Zapata looks deeper into how depression affects women and how they can better cope with it. She states,
“While living with — and parenting through — depression is tough, it is not impossible. In fact, with proper care and support, many individuals go on to live rich and fulfilling lives. Know you matter. Your life matters, and feelings are not facts. There is help and there is hope.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is independent study and online leading to a four year certification and is open to qualified professionals seeking certification
Improper ideas on grief can cause delayed and prolonged mourning. It can also lead to complications in the grief support process. It is important to understand false concepts regarding grief and loss to be able to grieve in a healthy way. Grief is a painful experience but it also a life experience and needs to be understood properly to proceed through it’s process.
The article, “These Myths About Grief Could Be Interrupting Your Healing Process” by Catherine Adams looks at grief myths that may be causing issues with one’s grieving process. She states,
“Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of experience with grief in my short 25 years. When I look at this year and speak with my loved ones, I see grief all around me. Grief can be such a shocking experience, and I’ve found there are many harmful expectations surrounding how grief and healing should look. These expectations pigeon-hole us into pain and stagnancy, and can bar us from actually getting to the healing.”
Grief myths can cause damage to the grieving process and also create erroneous views on life itself. If you are interested in learning more about grief, then please review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.
Depression is a mental state but like so many mental states, it can affect our physical state as well. The body and mind are tied together and stress, anxiety, and depression can negatively affect one’s overall health. Depression has many negative side effects over time and it is important to understand how depression affects physical health and why it is important to get help.
The article, “Sick from Depression? It’s Not All in Your Head” by the health experts at Healthline discusses how depression can negatively affect the body. The article states,
“Depression isn’t just in your head. It can affect your entire life, body and all. If you think you’re depressed just remember: You’re not alone. There are tons of resources that will help your mind and body feel better soon”
Depression can play a dangerous role in one’s physical health in almost every system of our body. It is important to remember that depression is a serious mental condition. It does not mean you are weak or that it is all in your head. It is important to treat depression as any other illness. Your mental but also your physical well being depend on it
One of the most difficult challenge during the pandemic is helping the bereaved find the help they need. Grief Counseling and other mental health aides became suddenly unavailable for many who needed the counseling and care. The bereaved, those with mental illness, or substance abuse found themselves without the outside world and coping mechanisms. Furthermore, those experiencing loss were left without the normal social norms to cope with grief. Funerals were no longer public and many were left without the social support they needed to grieve a loss. Others grieved the loss of normalcy in life.
The amount of loss during the pandemic from human life to simply losing a job cannot be underestimated. Individuals grieved major losses but also minor losses. Many felt ashamed to grieve the loss of simpler things when others lost jobs or even family members. Those who did lose loved ones were left without outlets to express their loss. Many became disenfranchised with their losses. Others became anxious in the uncertainty, lack of leadership, and unorganized response by government to the pandemic. These anxieties also left many concerned and grieving.
In these uncertain times, things became available through other forms of connection. Teleconferences with counselors became a new norm. Telegrief services to help others manage their grief became extremely important and still are extremely important. These services allow individuals to find validation in their grief when other social norms are not available.
With so much widespread grief, it was critical to be able to help isolated individuals and family units ways to express their losses, whether large or small, and telegrief and telecounseling became excellent ways to give isolated individuals the help they needed to express grief and find the help they needed.
This also opened new venues for grief counselors who may before had been tied to only one geographical location or area. Grief Counselors can help individuals across the nation through skype or other online media services. They can provide the professional grief counseling care needed to help individuals express their grief. Those suffering from mental disorders or substance abuse issues are also able to find the much needed help they need from licensed professional counselors.
So while the pandemic created new problems for the grieving it also created new solutions and allowed technology to present answers to existing issues.
It is still important as the pandemic continues for those experiencing loss to seek help. There are still thousands losing family members to COVID19. They face situations where funeral arrangements become far more difficult to procure in public due to local restrictions. Others are grieving loss of income and job or a standard of life they once enjoyed. The simple loss of a dinner in public or the ability to go to the store without a mask is a hardship for many. It is important not to degrade the small things during this collective loss. It is important to acknowledge all losses and not to feel guilty over it.
Grief Counselors and licensed counselors can both help grievers through telegrief services find the help and guidance they need to confront these losses and move forward in the future recovery. It is critical that noone is left behind in grief when the economy and public spheres become completely open again. The only way for full recovery is to have mentally healthy individuals who can cope with the grief and the loss caused by the pandemic.
When helping those affected by COVID19, it is important for grief counselors to identify the loss and not marginalize it. If it is not a smaller loss but a major loss, it is important for grief counselors to realize that collectively, the entire family may be dealing with the same loss and dealing with it in different ways.
Grief Counselors in school settings need to identify that many children are grieving the loss of a normal life. Many are experiencing family losses, change in qualify life at home due to parent’s job loss, as well as other ways of life. It is important to try to validate children’s losses and allow them to express. It is also important for families at home who face the losses to receive the education and information needed to cope. This also has to be presented in a safe way that reduces the risk of transmission of the virus. Many remote presentations may be needed in sharing information.
Whether children or adults, it is scary time. Grief and loss and uncertainty tie the nation together in one anxious know. It is critical to help stabilize uncertain situations with solid plans that identify the issues, look for temporary solutions and promise eventual returns to normalcy.
The pandemic has forced behavioral healthcare providers as well as healthcare in general to look outside the box. Utilizing technology and applying good grief theory to the problems presented by the pandemic, grief counselors can help the grieving find the coping strategies, guidance and hope they need.
If you would like to learn more about grief counseling training or would like to become a certified grief counselor, then please review The American Academy of Grief’s, Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.