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Loss & Grieving

It could be said the price of love and connection is loss. Grieving the loss of someone, something or a possible future can be difficult. 

One of the hardest challenges after loss, is adjusting to living with purpose. 

It can be of great help to explore ways to integrate loss, find meaning in daily living, and consciously create new routines to recast hope and dreams for your future.

Grief and loss and living with meaning

Grief is the normal, natural and inevitable response to loss. It can affect every part of life and affects everyone differently. Grief is an individual experience, often shaped by our culture, gender and beliefs. It is expressed differently across different cultures. Some people like to be expressive and public with their emotions, while others like to keep grief private.

When people grieve, they are coming to terms with changes in their lives and learning to live with a new kind of normal.

Grief has no set pattern. The effects of grief can often resemble depression and some people do go on to develop depression following a significant loss. The feelings of grief can be painful, constant or overwhelming. Grief can come in waves, seeming to fade away for a while and then return. But over time, the feelings gradually subside.

 

Grief

Grief is the natural emotional response to loss and can involve intense sadness, feelings of shock, numbness or even denial and anger. It can affect how you feel, think and what you do.

For most people, the intensity of grief eases over time and episodes of grief become less frequent; however responses and duration of grief are entirely personal affected circumstances and experiences.

Grief impacts the whole person and their ecosystem. Grief impacts all aspects of our bodies, our feelings, sense of self, spirituality and our relationships.

A person-centred approach to grief counselling offers a deeply communicative and empathic connection to support you to more fully engage with your unique experience; to develop an understanding of self that's in alignment with your actual lived experience; accept and make sense of your loss; clarify, accept, and integrate your new experiences of self; discover new meanings in the painful events; explore emerging potential for growth; and create continuing bonds with lost loved ones.

Grief as trauma

Grieving can be a kind of trauma, with ruptured attachments to those held dear, and shattered assumptions about the world being a predictable and orderly place.

Womanly Counselling offers a secure place, or a holding environment to help integrate and transform trauma of loss to find acceptance in a forever changed life.

Isolation of grief

Grieving can make us can feel painfully alone in our loss. The sense of aloneness can also result from a widening gap between their our experience and others' expectations. The pressure felt "to move on", can bring deeper feelings of isolation as it becomes harder to find solace in those we normally confide in.

Pregnancy loss

Miscarriage - About one in five confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage.

The loss of the hopes and dreams built around brining a child into the world can be immense, regardless of progress in pregnancy. It's not unusual to feel betrayed by your own body or find blame in what you may or may not have done.

Parents can also feel lonely and isolated if they hadn't told people of the pregnancy and have nothing tangible to show for their pregnancy.

Stillbirth - In Australia, a stillborn baby is defined as one showing no signs of life at birth at or after 20 weeks gestation or weighing 400 grams or more. This can often be described as the baby dying in utero. Hearing a baby has died after giving birth or will die while still inside the woman's body and that she will have to go through labour, knowing the outcome, is incredibly distressing.

Neonatal deaths - At any stage of pregnancy, the death of the baby is an intensely sad and emotional period, often exacerbated by parents not knowing why the death occurred and the mothers feeling guilty and blaming themselves.

Abortion - There is an assumption that women grieving after an abortion are grieving the termination of the pregnancy, not grieving for the pregnancy itself. However, in the case of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, the fear, guilt, anger, shame, confusion etc. that is felt, while having to make a life-changing decision can be overwhelming. As the circumstances usually necessitate a decision made in a short space of time, feelings are often left unprocessed which can impact the grief process. One of the most commonly reported feelings is that women don’t feel they have the same right to grieve the loss because it was their choice or because of the judgment and stigma around abortion.

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