Grief and Loss/ End of Life Issues

The loss of a loved one can be one of the most painful of human experiences. Grief and loss is a universal experience that is not only limited to humans. In fact, the experience of grief is so profound that it is seen in many species of the animal kingdom. The emotions surrounding grief can be overwhelming and at times many people feel that they may never be able to again function as they did previously. Although grief is a difficult and painful process it is an important step in moving forward. Most experts agree you can work through your loss by expressing your grief in a safe environment, on your own time. There is truly no ‘right’ or wrong way to grief a loss. The timeframe of grief is unique to each individual. The experience of loss encompasses a multitude of things:

The death of a family member, spouse, partner or friend

The death of a pet

A divorce or a brake-up of a relationship

The loss of a job, home, or economic status

A global/ national tragedy resulting in destruction and loss of lives

 Greif and loss may also trigger other issues that may surface. Some of these issues may include but are not limited to:

Feeling of isolation – you may feel unable to interact with others during this time and as a result you may become isolated in your grief and unable to reach out

Questioning our spiritual beliefs – anger at God or the inability for your belief system to work in providing comfort

Questioning the purpose of life and our place in the world – a loss may at times trigger questions about our own existence

Experiencing the physical symptoms of grief – being exhausted, having no energy, excessive sleeping, or insomnia

Feeling as if you are going crazy – feelings of anxiety, relief and guilt, numbness, worry and depression can all make a person feel as if they are going crazy.

Changes in emotion or mental ability – Feeling angry is just one emotion that is common when losing a loved one. During this time of grief, you may also experience inability to concentrate, over sleeping, or lack of sleep.

Although grief is a necessary and normal reaction to a loss, if not expressed in a healthy manner, the above issues can result in a long term depression.  Seeking therapy to be able to help work through these feelings in a safe and trusting environment can help to ease the process. Group therapy can be highly effective as it provides support by others who are going through similar experiences.

Noosha Daha, LMFT specializes in working with those who have lost loved ones as well as those who have been diagnosed with terminal illness. Her experience with patients and families at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has provided one been the most rewarding in her career. If you have lost a loved one and would like to seek help in this difficult time, call  Oaks Counseling Center for a complimentary consultation.