Grief is a universal experience, yet it is uniquely personal. It is the normal reaction to a significant loss, but its impact can feel anything but normal. Understanding grief and how it affects us is crucial for navigating this challenging journey.

What is Grief?

Grief is the emotional response to a significant loss. It is not a disorder, has no set timeline, and is not something we simply “get over.” Instead, we carry our grief with us, integrating the loss into our lives. Grief serves to remind us of the importance of what we’ve lost, be it a person, relationship, or another significant aspect of our life.

Beyond Death: The Many Faces of Grief

Many people associate grief primarily with death, but it can arise from any significant loss. This includes losses in relationships, roles, purpose, freedom, safety, stability, and even routine. Life events that may trigger grief include:

  • Relationship break-ups, separation, or divorce
  • Children leaving home
  • Job loss or career changes
  • Declining health
  • Major lifestyle changes

Even anticipated events, such as starting a family, career progression, or moving out, can involve grief as they mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

Grief Reactions: A Multifaceted Experience

Grief manifests in various ways, affecting our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, behaviours, social interactions, financial stability, and spiritual beliefs. Keeping a journal can be beneficial to track and understand these reactions:

  • Thoughts: What recurring thoughts or memories come up?
  • Emotions: What feelings are emerging, and where are they coming from?
  • Physical Sensations: How is grief manifesting in your body?
  • Behaviours: What actions are you taking that help or hinder you?
  • Social Interactions: Are you reaching out to others or withdrawing?
  • Financial Impact: How has your financial situation changed, and what support do you need?
  • Spiritual Beliefs: How have your beliefs or worldview shifted?

Seeking Professional Help

It’s never too early or too late to seek help with grief. Reaching out for professional support does not imply that you are broken or unable to cope. Grief counselling can provide a space to process your feelings and identify areas where you might feel stuck. A professional trained in grief can help you navigate this difficult time.

How Changes in Between Can Help

Changes in Between offers both grief counselling and grief coaching to support you through your journey.

Grief Counseling:

  • Focuses on processing your grief, especially after the death of a loved one or loss of a significant relationship.
  • Helps you tell and retell your story, work through painful reactions, and come to terms with your losses.
  • Assists in managing the impact on your life, hopes, and dreams, and coping with daily challenges.
  • Builds on your self-knowledge and self-care.

Grief Coaching:

  • Helps you take action on your next chapter, especially after processing the loss.
  • Works on an agenda over a set period, exploring topics in depth to devise actionable steps.
  • Aids in building systems, routines, and supports to help you move forward.
  • Enhances your self-awareness and learning.

Taking the Next Step

If you are struggling with grief and need support, consider booking an initial consultation call for counselling or coaching. Whether you need to process your grief or are ready to take steps towards your next chapter, professional support can provide the guidance and space you need.