‘No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear’ (A Grief Observed, CS Lewis).
‘Your former life still seems to exist, but you can’t get back to it……The process creates panic and guilt’ (Hilary Mantel).
To grieve means to feel intense sorrow for a loss. Grief is usually associated with a death, but we may need as much support for the intense sorrow caused by another type of loss. Sometimes a divorce, the loss of a career, or the estrangement of friends or family can be experienced as devastating and as shocking as a death. However, society does not often expect the term ‘grief’ to be associated with any loss other than the death of a loved one. If someone is divorced, if they lose their career, or if they become estranged from a friend or family member, there is rarely the same level of support as when there is a death. Instead there is (at best) a bewildered silence, or (at worst) an unspoken assumption that the person experiencing the loss is in some way to blame. So what can help someone who is grieving for a loss other than the death of a loved one?
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified the following five stages of grief –
Here are some of the other concepts that have helped grieving clients –
Chris Warren-Dickins BACP Registered Counsellor