The word 'bereavement' comes from the ancient German for 'seize by violence'. Sometimes when someone dies, it can feel just like that - like that person has been forcibly taken away. Today the word 'bereavement' is used to describe the period of grief and mourning we go through after someone close to us dies.
When someone you care about dies, it can be one of the most devastating times of your life. Our outlook on life can change, things that felt important before can now have little meaning or interest. When you experience the death of someone you care about it often has a big impact on your life. Bereavement is about trying to accept what has happened, learn techniques to adjust to life without that person and finding a place to keep their memory alive while you try to get along as best you can.
To help people explore their loss and strengthen their ability to cope more effectively with the death of a loved one. Specifically, bereavement counselling can:
offer support and understanding of the grieving process
explore areas that could potentially prevent you from moving on
help resolve areas of conflict still remaining
help you to adjust and understand the new life ahead
address possible issues of depression or suicidal thoughts.
Any death is devastating. However, grief after suicide can have a deeper and more complex emotional impact on you. Family and friends left behind by a person who dies by suicide often experience bursts of confusing feelings. Self-directed anger and guilt are natural reactions to suicide. It's easy to start blaming yourself and wondering if you could have done something to help. It's also natural to feel angry at the person themselves. What were they thinking? How could they do this to you? Why didn't they tell you how they were feeling?
After a death of a loved one your emotions and energy can be unpredictable, it’s important to mourn as this is the natural way we process the trauma of losing someone. Many people explain grief and bereavement like floating down a river, some days it is calm, gentle and you can hold onto the river bank with ease. Other days you can encounter undercurrents that drag you down, the water is powerful and flowing fast with no ability to grab hold of the side or stop.