Loss and bereavement

The death of a loved one is probably the greatest loss that can happen to anyone. However, the feelings that someone’s death can bring up in us can also be brought up by other losses, such as the end of a significant relationship or the loss of health or the health of a loved one or the loss of employment. Grieving is the process of reconciliation to the loss and is an inevitable and normal response to it. Stages and feelings often said to be associated with grieving are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. However, because the meaning of the loss is personal to everyone, these stages are only indicative of the kinds of experiences that bereavement can bring about in us. For the same reason, it is impossible to say how long it takes before we move towards accepting the loss and begin to experience life as meaningful in a positive way once more. Therapy can be helpful for someone who is finding it especially difficult to move in this direction, providing support while they explore the feelings that they are finding particularly painful and hard to reconcile.