Bereavement can be unbearable and the fear of bereavement a torture almost impossible to endure, and yet we have no choice, we are powerless. Our loved ones can be cruelly taken from us.
Sometimes the pain is so great we would prefer not to be here without our loved one. There are other loved ones who need us, and so we stay and somehow struggle through the days of deep blackness and hopelessness.
Everyone is unique and the journey through pain and despair takes many different directions. We may think that we have reached a place of calm to find that this is only a temporary lull and we are plunged back into the darkness.
There is nothing that anybody can do or say to make us feel better. We often do not want to share how we feel because we know that it would be impossible for anyone to understand the raw physical pain that we feel. The only way that we could feel better would be to have our loved one returned to us, but we know that this will never happen and so the despair and pain go on.
Family members will have different grief reactions. Each will be in their own world of disbelief and pain. It may seem impossible to reach them when we are floundering in our own dark place. They may cut their feelings off and be in complete denial because to look at the reality would destroy them.
How do we survive, how do we hold a family together when the very heart of that family is gone forever?
There is no easy answer. We struggle on. Some days the pain is less, some days the pain is worse. We struggle on for the other people who we love and who love us.
Your experience and feelings may be different to those I have described.
We all have our own unique experience and feelings. Family members will all experience the loss in a different way because each one had their own unique and special relationship with the person who has died.
There is no straight forward pathway. Your journey in life will be very different without the person you have lost but your journey will go on.
Counselling may help you explore the trauma of your loss and the feelings you are experiencing which can be confusing and constantly changing. Emotions can be so intense that they become frightening, realising that this is a ‘normal’ part of grief can be reassuring.
Counselling can also help you begin to explore how your life is going to be different without the person you have lost and to find ways of adapting and coping with the changes in your life.