The death of a loved one can be devastating. Being a Bereavement counsellor and Hypnotherapist I can describes some of the feelings that can arise from losing someone, and where I can help and support you.
Bereavement affects people in different ways. There’s no right or wrong way to feel or time period.
You might feel a lot of emotions at once, or feel you’re day feels brighter, then you wake up and feeling terrible,” says Sarah, who works at Trinity Hospice in London.
Overwhelming powerful feelings can come unexpectedly. “It’s like waves on a beach. You can be standing in water up to your knees and feel you can cope, then a freak wave comes and knocks you off your feet.”
Stages of bereavement or grief
Experts generally accept there are four stages of bereavement:
- accepting that your loss is real
- experiencing the pain of grief
- adjusting to life without the person who has died
- putting less emotional energy into grieving and putting it into something new – in other words, moving on
You’ll probably go through all these stages, but you won’t necessarily in order or smoothly from one to the next. Your grief might feel manic and out of control, but these feelings will eventually become less intense.
Feelings of grief
Give yourself time – these feelings will pass. You might feel:
- shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to the death, and people often speak of being in a daze or a white cloud of nothingness
- overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
- tiredness or exhaustion
- anger – for example, towards the person who died, their illness, or relative God
- guilt – for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or didn’t say, or about not being able to stop your loved one dying, or that you are alive.
These feelings are all perfectly normal, the negative feelings don’t make you bad. Lots of people feel guilty about their anger or which way it is directed, but it’s OK to be angry and to question why.