When Is It Time For Grief Therapy?


I went back to grief counseling. It helped me understand why it has been so difficult for me to engage in therapy or a grief group up until now. Surviving these last months has been very difficult, and I have done fairly well on that level. It is so overwhelming to engage in therapy or a group at this point. I don’t know if this can be understood unless you have lost a loved one. Everyone is different though, so I am not presuming to know what works for everyone. The chaplain at the hospital did tell us we should probably wait for six months before trying any of these things. Now I understand why. Being in a fog of denial has been a type of protection from a reality that is too much to handle 24/7. I have moments of time throughout the day that this lifts, which is when the pain becomes unbearable. If anyone who is reading this, I hope my post can reassure you somehow to be gentle with yourself, and not let people, who may have good intentions, tell you how you should be grieving. I think our loved ones- friends and family feel afraid for us when we appear, and may be spiraling downward. Possibly, just checking in with a grief therapist at times is a good idea in the beginning to ensure a person is not in danger of suicide or self harm. My writing, reading, finding jokes, pictures of Alex, Grieving mother posts, reading novels, grief books and my grandchildren and other kids have been what has helped me through. Friends have helped as well, but this a journey that I have found is not for the weary, and most people want to resume their own lives and not be brought down by watching up front and in person. Not that I have been totally cooperative with this either. I mostly stay at home in my little cocoon, as I feel it takes the least amount of mental and emotional energy. I told one of daughters that I am just exhausted all the time. She asked me why. I have read other mothers talk about how this is what they experience as well.
I did some reading on what psychological trauma does to the brain. It truly does have an impact on our brain chemistry. I won’t go into all the details, as it long and drawn out. I also read about how siblings are impacted when losing a brother or sister. They loose part of their identity, as their sibling was someone they knew since birth, and learned a lot about who they were from their sibling. Often, they spent a lot their time playing, sharing secrets, fighting; learing how to ressolve conflict, the list goes on. The lit. spoke about how sibling grief is often the most overlooked type of grief. This made me really think about my other children. There is nothing I can say to take their pain away. I hug them, tell them I understand, how sorry I am they lost their sister. I think the biggest thing I can do for them, is to keep trying to my best to move forward on this path of grief and continue to ensure they have all the basic needs met. My therapy session helped me to realize that is huge for where I am with my grief. I beat myself for wishing I could be better than I am, but that isn’t any different than before the accident. I am on a roll, but I think I will close for now.
More later…


6 thoughts on “When Is It Time For Grief Therapy?

  1. fotomama986

    Hello Friend! I’m not weary, I just felt like I was making it worse and I also know you know how to reach me…I did not want to be a burden! I love you, you KNOW that! I keep all of you in my prayers!


    • ninaemalcomb

      HI Lisa, Long time no see. I hope you are doing okay. I am hanging in there. It is almost a year since the accident. Thanks for checking in on my blog. Give me a call for coffee or something.


  2. Hi there! I don’t know you, but I do know grief. I’ve lost quite a few loved ones (including a brother) and I never really knew how to grieve any of them until I completely broke down and ended up at a grief counselor. It was the best thing to ever happen to me! I didn’t realize I was still carrying burdens from the people I had lost! I’m now a college student studying to be a social worker and I had the ability to volunteer at a grief & bereavement camp for children and parents. I really enjoyed being able to help the kids and get them talking about their futures! Many of them at first couldn’t even think of what they would be doing in 6 months because they couldn’t see past the hurt they were experiencing in that very moment. By the end of it they were discussing what they were going to be when they “grew up”! It was truly inspiring and I just want you to know that even though grief is an incredibly long process and it never truly goes away, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (for lack of better words) and it sounds like you are doing a great job of taking care of yourself and the others around you 🙂


    • ninaemalcomb

      Thank you for your comments. I think it is so wonderful that you worked at the grief/bereavement camp for kids. It is hard to find light at the end of the tunnel, especially in the beginning. I am hopeful that things will continue to move forward, even if it is a slow process. I want to give back in a way that would make my daughter, who passed away proud. I lost my mom at the age of 11, and I would love to volunteer someday for something like the camp you wrote about.


  3. Thank you for your post, your blog, sharing your process so fearlessly. I lost my mother, my father and my sister during these past seven months, however, I think that the loss of a child must be the most heartbreaking of losses, and as a mother of three, my heart goes out to you.
    Thank you for mentioning sibling grief. I am still in a daze, as my sister passed a week ago today.


    • ninaemalcomb

      I am so sorry for all your losses. You must feel incredibly alone and sad. I see what my other children are going through, and have read that sibling grief can be overlooked or under estimated. My heart goes out to you and your children.


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