Tree of Life Counselling

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Grief

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Amy-Louise Underwood
Grief Counselling Specialist
Grief never ends, but it changes. It's a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price we pay for love.

Loss is an inevitable part of life that most of us will experience at some point. Grief is a normal and natural emotional response to loss. It can be caused by an event or change in circumstances such as the death of a loved one, a miscarriage, loss of a relationship, pet, home or job. Whatever we have lost, grief can be experienced as an intense and overwhelming emotional pain.


Grief is universal but our emotional response is personal. It can affect your feelings, thoughts and behaviours. It can disrupt our sleep, appetite, ability to function and think clearly. We might feel numb, shock, disbelief, anger, guilt or profound sadness.


As a counsellor, a few examples of common things I hear are:


“It's been 6 months, surely I shouldn’t still be feeling like this, should I?”

There is no time frame for grief, it is unique for every person. Grief isn’t always experienced at the time of the loss and can become more intense over time, particularly if we are initially in shock or if feelings are avoided and suppressed.  


“I need to stay strong for others and crying won’t change things anyway.”
Crying is a natural reaction to sadness and loss. Expressing your feelings can help you move through the grief process. It may also help other people if they see you express your feelings. It is ok to show how you feel.


“I shouldn’t feel this sad, people keep telling me it's just a dog.”
Loss is personal and relates to the attachments we form to what we have lost. Losing a pet can feel like losing a close family member or friend. How you feel is ok, normal, and unique to you.


“If I do go on holiday, it's like I’ve just forgotten and don’t care anymore.”
You will never forget. You can live your life while you learn to cope with and accept your loss. You can remember and cherish fond, happy memories.


There is no right or wrong way to grieve, no ‘should’ or ‘should not’, and no time limit on our feelings. In a safe space, I’ll gently listen to you share what you have lost in your own time, and support and help you work through your grief.