Loss and Grief is an inevitable part of life that we will all experience at some time or another. Whether it be the death of a loved one, illness, disability, unemployment or any other separation from person, place, situation or activity it is something we will all encounter. To grieve and mourn for our losses is a natural way for humans to try and come to terms with, express and assimilate the loss.
In the practice of Gestalt Psychotherapy loss and grief is viewed within a holistic perspective and grief is seen to affect all levels of experience, such as the body, emotions, cognition, social life, religious beliefs and even our identity. Who am I without my husband/wife, job or with this disability? At its core grief is about unwanted change and how we as unique individuals make meaning of our loss and create new meaning in our life.
Loss and grief is a painful emotional adjustment which takes time and cannot be hurried along. The grief process is a complex subjective experience that is often filled with prolonged confusion and suffering. There is no instant fix. However if you are experiencing loss and grief here are some things you can do that may help you cope. Firstly it is important to express yourself as talking is often a good way to soothe painful emotions; allow yourself to feel sad, it is a healthy part of the grieving process to feel; keep up your routine; get enough sleep; eat healthy; avoid things that “numb” pain such as alcohol, as it will make you feel worse once the numbness wears off and seek professional support if required (generally a few weeks or months after the loss).
Loss is a part of life and for this reason Gestalt Psychotherapy trusts that pain, uncertainty and difficulties are necessary to the process of development. Feeling and expressing grief although painful, helps a person to develop into something new. To adjust to their loss as best they can, in their own time and in their own unique way. Although mourning eventually subsides, and a person develops into something new, it is with respect that we know that a certain part of that person will always remain inconsolable. A substitute for the loss will never be found just reformed, and the bereaved will be forever changed!