Grace Hodgson, LPC is a grief counselor located in Charlotte, NC and is part of our Clear Creek Counseling team. We hope you enjoy her introduction to grief.
When I began my job as a bereavement counselor at a local hospice near Charlotte, NC, I thought I understood grief. I had taken all the courses, read books and was older than most hospice workers. It was only in the loss of my own mother that I learned the true lessons of grief. These are a few of the things my experience taught me.
Grief is individual
Grief looks different for each person. Sometimes long-term caregivers will feel a sense of relief from the intensity of the caregiving, then guilt for feeling that way. If there was conflict in the relationship, there may be regrets. The variety of responses is endless. It is important not to judge yourself during this time. Your experience is your own.
Grief is personal
The intensity and meaning of the death of a loved one are very individual and very personal. The death of a loved one sets into motion feelings, situations, and events that you cannot totally prepare for ahead of time. Even when the death is expected, or comes after a long illness, the time of death creates a moment when everything changes. Common feelings expressed in early loss include being numb or detached like time is standing still. Remember that emotions are neither right nor wrong. Allow yourself time to move through them.
Grief takes time
There is no timetable for grief. Expectations for “getting over it” in a couple of months, or “gaining closure” express the denial of the grief experience. There is no magical moment at the 1-year mark where healing is finished. You are beginning the process of developing a “new normal”. Talking about your loved one with family and friends can help all concerned.
If you find your grief overwhelming, reach for support. Counselors with training in the area of grief and loss are an especially great resource for helping you through your grief experience. Here is my page to learn more about Grace Hodgson, LPC, where I practice grief counseling in Charlotte, NC. You can reach me at 980-777-6005 for further help.
Here are some more resources for grief: