We experience grief from losing something important to us; it can be a career, a friend, a relationship, a relative, or a pet. Watching somebody we love perish, human or animal, is obscenely harsh. The misery we feel is intense, but the intensity of grief may be more moving to us than any other experience in our life. Yet, on the other hand, a loss is an opportunity to participate in our world in a new way, to feel more, and to appreciate the sanctity of breathing and the connections with people around us that we love. Life becomes apparent to us: delicate, exquisite, and brief, like the magnificence of a flower that we observe losing its petals.
The recovery process demands some isolation and time equal to the vigor of the relationship we no longer have. Those individuals or animals intertwined in our daily existence must evolve into sweet and gentle memories. Unfortunately, the transition we go through to achieve this stillness is anything but kind. Although watching our loved one perish seems cruel, this experience is much more complex and heartbreaking for those left behind to heal.
There are many views on the phases of grief. To anybody who has encountered the loss of someone or something meaningful or dear, it is an intense but somewhat simple process. According to our experts on counseling in Winter Park, the following are some of the feelings people experience when coping with loss.
At this phase, time freezes. You might find yourself saying things like, "I can't believe this happened." "What just happened?!!!" "How is this even possible?" Then, there is extreme pain with profound numbness.
In the next stage, the void of the loss sets in. You might say, "I have nothing now." "I am alone." The emptiness of the loss is ever present and strongly felt. There is an extreme need to surround yourself with items that remind you of the person; normal sounds, a familiar smell, something treasured by the lost individual, and we seek any memories we had with them. During this stage, we strive to continue their presence in any way possible.
Suddenly a dreadful acceptance of the loss sinks in, along with extreme hopelessness. You might cry out, "What will I do without them?" We question what has occurred and what we might have done better. We dig for what could have protected them and assume that this pain without them will endure forever. There are moments of despair and fury that they left us and that such good lives can fade away so fast.
Eventually, we gain clarity and see the pieces of us strewn around. We find a way to pick up each piece and put ourselves back together. We are different from before. We often focus on what is important as we look for a path to reenter the world. There is sometimes fear of reinsertion, yet, there is a yearning to advance the memory of our loved one through reorganizing our own life and telling their story. A new fire is in us to experience life and never take it for granted. This is our opportunity to experience the miraculousness of loss, healing with the wisdom of what is most cherished – those we love.
Recovering from a loss is never easy, but it is possible. Contact us today for counseling in Winter Park. We re here to help!
Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at 407-592-8997 for more information.