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…