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  • Fe Robinson

Grief is not only about death

People are generally familiar with the idea that when someone dies, we grieve. There are many ways of describing the process grief might follow, for example suggesting that initially we may deny what has happened and not deal with it, but then in time we may become angry and/or very sad, before beginning to find some sort of acceptance with our loss and with it a sense of moving on. I'm not sure grief follows a set pattern, it seems to me we are each individuals and we are each affected differently. What we need and want to help us can also vary. Grief counselling is about creating an accepting place where the bereaved can come and talk, and work through what for them is needed, and how they can enable it in their lives.

What often surprises clients is when I tentatively ask whether they may be grieving when no-one has died. The end of a romantic relationship, a redundancy, a house move, losing social contact as restrictions are imposed, a changing friendship...there are many things that can be experienced as losses, that bring with them a natural period of adjustment and grieving.

When things change, making space for yourself to let go, before you begin to explore, and in time create new beginnings is important. Change may be an event, but psychological transition is a process, it takes time, and needs caring attention and empathy to succeed.


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