Nick Britchford

Counselling & Psychotherapy

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Grief and Loss

Grief, loss, bereavement, mourning... all these words have a commonality in describing an experience that is difficult, and brings up a range of emotions within us.  The words may be used or understood differently by different people, and in different cultures.

Bereavement, and loss.... Is what happens to us.    

Generally people think of bereavement as the loss or death of someone you love, or are close to.  Someone that is important to you, or has played an important role in your life.    Loss, can include a much wider experience.  Whilst you may experience the loss of people through death, you can also experience the loss of relationships:  this may be partners, spouses, friendships... not through death, but through separation or a breakdown in the relationship.

Perhaps you have experienced a different loss?  This may be loss of your identity, your professional role, your family role, your physical health, spiritual or religious beliefs.  You may also experience anticipatory loss, for a loss that is impending or you know is coming in the future.

Grief.....  Is what we feel.

There is no right or wrong way for you to feel when you experience a loss.  Grief can encompass a huge range of felt experiences, which will be as individual as you are.  Numbness, denial, frustration, confusion, loneliness, or gut wrenching emptiness.   Sadness, anger, or overwhelming relief.  Depending on the situation, you may also experience symptoms of post traumatic stress, or anxiety.  You may feel surprised, confused or ashamed of how you are feeling, this is also normal.

Mourning.....  Is what we do.

It's taking all those internal feelings you are experiencing, and finding ways to express them on the outside.  It is the expression of your grief, for the loss that you have had.  People, and communities mourn in many different ways.  On an individual level, you may find expression in journalling, crying, art, music, prayer, rituals, or the celebration of special dates.

Therapy can be a helpful way in giving you a supportive and empathic space to mourn your loss, and to process what has happened.  If you would like to find out more about working with me, you can contact me, or read more here.