Regrettably there is only one certainty in life and that is death. For those who survive the death of a significant other there is a grieving process. It is during that grieving process that complications in the relationship that one had with the deceased can arise and cause the survivor great anguish. It may be that the circumstances surrounding the death were particularly difficult. The loss may have resulted in more than the loss of a companion, a child or a friend – it may have resulted in a loss of direction. We may try to deal with the loss in ways that are self-damaging such as excessive drinking or other self-destructive or even dangerous behaviour. The help and support of friends and family can be of immense value but may not afford the survivor an opportunity to work through all the emotions that arise. There may be conflicting emotions that are difficult to name or talk about with others who knew the deceased. Counselling and psychotherapy provides a safe, containing and comforting environment in which to resolve any issues that have arisen or simply to work through the grieving process so that a return to your life is possible, feelings and experiences that a survivor may have are as follows:
Shock Denial Anxiety and Panic Anger and Rage Sadness Helplessness Lonliness Guilt Regret Yearning Numbness Irritability Relief Feeling hollow in the stomach Holding onto reminders of the deceased Searching for the deceased
Psychotherapy and counselling cannot bring back a loved one but it can assist the grieving process so that the survivor can think about the person they have lost without feeling pain.