There are many times in our lives when we may suffer a significant loss. This loss could include anything from the loss of a career, our health, a dream or death of a loved one. The grief you may experience can be so intense it can become debilitating. You may now suddenly be a widow, a single parent, or wonder where you possibly fit in. Life may feel exhausting and you may feel numb or fragile. Grief can lead to depression, especially when you can’t imagine being happy again or feel bitter or angry.
Why can’t I get over the grief and loss?
The truth is that death comes in doses. Small or large moments in life will continue to remind you of your loss including anniversary dates, smells, places and things. Day after day you will be reminded that things are different. You may feel vulnerable and defenseless. Everything has changed and you don’t know how to trust the world again. Life in the military and the culture of the military can contribute to the grief that you may feel.
What type of grief counseling has the Military and Veteran Counseling Center provided?
We have worked with individuals that are grieving the death of those they lost at war – both friends and enemies, the grief of having to kill children, having a partner diagnosed with terminal illness, cancer, death of a child or spouse. We have also worked with grief of losing body parts, careers, heath and relationships.
What’s wrong with me? It seems like I can’t move on.
Understand that you aren’t the same. You may cry at unexpected things, feel like you can’t get out of bed or avoid tasks that you feel like you just can’t handle. You may wonder if you are always going to feel this way. We don’t all grieve the same way and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You may wonder why you are still mourning and think that your grief should be over by now. Maybe you have decided to keep yourself extremely busy, hoping activity will take away the pain and are terrified if you slow down, thinking you just might break.
Grief is complex and healing takes time. Your grief is unique. It will come and go and affect your behavior, thoughts, social reactions and spiritual views. Mourning does not take place in one or two days, and there is no packaged fast food version to make it go more quickly.
Do I need Grief Counseling?
The better question to ask is how therapy can help me. Joanne Steen, a widow of a naval aviator wrote, “It is a sign of sanity to recognize you are drowning in the deep end of the pool of grief.” We can be your life line. Grief counseling can give you the ability to get past the blame or grief, to find relief and experience the peace that is much needed.
What is traumatic grief, and how could it apply to me?
Traumatic grief is where a person is suffering from not only the grief of death, but also traumatic stress. To be diagnosed with traumatic grief, a person would have to be exposed to an event(s) that are horrifying. The result may involve a preoccupation with the person who died, (yearning and searching). Symptoms include avoidance of reminders of what happened, feelings of purposeless about the future, detachment, shock, difficulty acknowledging death, anger and harmful behaviors. All of these may interfere with your ability to function. These symptoms can almost mirror the effects and symptoms of having PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder). If this is something that you feel you have or may be going through, we have the tools to help you reduce your symptoms.
What if I feel I’m to blame?
You may have a strong sense of responsibility for the death you are grieving. We hear this concern frequently. Individuals wish they could have done more, should have known, could have prevented it or didn’t do enough. Living a lifetime with this weight on your shoulders can be crippling. Many of our clients find the strength to bring this weight of emotions to treatment and are able to move forward with peace instead of being pulled down by grief. Regardless of how you are grieving, we understand this is an extremely difficult time in your life. We are ready to help. Contact us for a free confidential consultation with a licensed therapist so you can bring peace back into your life.
The experience of watching a loved one suffer can take its toll. Many civilians find they, too, could benefit from counseling. If you’re a civilian and are concerned both about your loved one and yourself, consider Civilian Counseling.