There’s No Such Thing As “Getting Over” A Loss
Grief is a sign of love.
Grief is a natural response to the death of a loved one, or other life-altering situations such as a divorce, decline in health, loss of a job, or financial stability. It is normal to grieve when we experience disruption in the way of life we have grown accustomed to or when our expectations and plans for life are turned upside down due to loss. Loss can lead to feelings of anger, denial, despair and sadness.
There are many misconceptions about grief and bereavement that make people feel pressured to “move on” within a certain amount of time after a loss and when an individual cannot “just move on” they may be left feeling stuck, lost, or hopeless. But that is untrue. Grief is a natural process that is unique to every individual . There is no set timeline or end point to grieving a loss, but allowing yourself to experience and process your feelings, thoughts and experiences surrounding your loss and grief will help.
Many people are grieving a loss of “normal” during Covid-19.
Grieving the way things were before is normal. Many Americans experienced this during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Graduations, celebrations, milestones, and regular family gatherings were missed during this time which caused feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression, and grief.
You may be wondering if the world will ever feel normal again, or if you will ever feel safe and secure again. It is normal to grieve for the sense of peace that you have lost.
You may have felt fine during the first year of quarantine, but later felt your sense of loss and bereavement was overwhelming. You may have found it difficult to continue on with regular daily tasks or even to get out of bed in the morning.
Grief Counseling Can Help
Grief counselors and therapists can help you learn ways to cope with loss and the accompanying sadness. They can also help you learn to move forward in a meaningful way. While this does not erase the loss, there is hope and meaning after loss.
Common goals for grief or bereavement counseling can include:
accepting the reality of the loss
working through the pain of grief
adjusting to “the new normal” or how life is now
maintaining a connection with the former way of life you’ve lost while finding ways to rebuild your life surrounding your loss.
You Can Find Peace Again with Grief Counseling
Grief doesn’t disappear, but will become easier with time as you go through the grieving process.
With bereavement counseling you can expect:
Someone to listen, respectfully and non-judgmentally
To share the story of your relationship and your loss
To untangle the web of emotions you may be experiencing
To find a sense of closure and peace
Licensed Professional Counselor Associate
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Licensed Professional Counselor Associate
Certified Social Worker
Grief Counseling for Children
Children experience grief very differently than adults. In fact, many children may struggle with the concept of death as a permanent state since so many cartoon characters “die” and come back. This may lead them to assert that they see or speak to the deceased or deny the person has truly died.
Children in grief may experience these symptoms or similar ones:
Loss of interest in daily activities and events
inability to sleep, loss of appetite, prolonged fear of being alone
acting much younger than their age (regression)
believing they are talking to or seeing the deceased family member
repeated statements of wanting to join the dead person
withdrawal from friends
drop in academic performance or refusal to attend school
Anger or frequent outbursts of emotion
Guilt or fear
Since the understanding of death is fluid for some children, it’s possible that their grieving process may extend for much longer than an adult’s, causing emotional outbursts months or years after the fact. Children don’t truly “get over” a loss, they only learn to live in the new reality. This is a process and will take time. Each child will grieve and display grief differently.
More resources for childhood grief can be found here:
Teenagers are unique when it comes to grief because though they look more like adults, they are in many ways still emotionally childlike. That, coupled with the challenges of growing up, can lead to a lot of confusion and complicated emotions when a teenager is faced with loss.
Teens may experience any or all of the following as they work through the grieving process:
Guilt or anxiety that they somehow caused the death/loss
A shutdown of emotions/numbness
An influx of overwhelming emotions or an emotional outburst
Questioning identity — who am I without that person?
Search for deeper meaning or life after death
rebellion, moodiness, impulsiveness, reliance or egocentrism
Anger and sadness
More resources for helping teenagers during the grieving process can be found here:
Grief Counseling for Teenagers
Not Ready to Start Counseling?
Here are some blog posts that might be helpful: