Beyond Goodbye: A Healing Path for Grief and Loss Counselling.

Bereavement is something many of us will encounter in our lives, but it’s a topic that we often shy away from discussing. In the past, people experienced the loss of loved ones more frequently during childhood or adolescence, but improved health and longer life expectancies have changed that.

As a result, we find ourselves with limited opportunities to learn about grieving, what it entails, how it affects us, and how to navigate it. We may not know what’s considered “normal” or how to come to terms with the loss of someone dear to us.

However, when faced with the death or passing of a loved one, we must find ways to cope. Bereavement or Grief counseling is a valuable resource that can guide us through the natural stages and cycle of grief, helping us process our emotions and finding a path towards healing. It offers support and understanding during one of life’s most challenging experiences.

We all grieve differently, so there is no correct way to grieve, however there is a recognised healthy guide to coping with loss, which may act as a guide to recognise if there may be a problem, or if you’re stuck in the grieving process.


Bereavement or grief is the deep sadness and mix of emotions we feel when someone we love passes away or when we lose them in our life. It’s the natural response to losing someone dear to us, and it can bring feelings like sadness, shock, and even anger. Grief is something everyone goes through at some point, and it’s important to understand that it’s okay to feel this way when we lose someone we care about.

Grief is a complicated mix of emotions that we experience when we go through a tough time, not just when someone we love passes away but also when they leave our life or we say goodbye to them.

When we start feeling grief, it’s not just one feeling but a whole bunch of them. These emotions take time to process, and there’s no rush to get through them quickly.

For most of us, the order in which we feel these emotions is similar. Usually, grief happens when someone we’ve known for a long time dies. But it can also happen when the relationship was shorter, like in the case of miscarriages or stillbirths.

In the first few hours or days after losing someone important to us, we often feel shocked, like we can’t believe it’s real. This feeling might happen even if we knew the person was going to pass away, like in a long illness. This emotional numbness can help us handle the practical things like contacting family and arranging the funeral or memorial service. But if it goes on for too long, it can become a problem.

Seeing the person’s body or attending their service can be a way to start accepting what’s happened and say our goodbyes. It might be hard and painful, but it’s an important step in the grieving process. Some people skip these steps because they seem too painful, but that can lead to regrets later on.

After the initial numbness, we might start feeling agitated and desperately miss the person who’s gone. We might even have a strong urge to find them, even though we know it’s impossible. This can make it hard to relax, concentrate, or sleep well. Our dreams might be really disturbing. We might feel like we see our loved one everywhere we go, which can be both comforting and upsetting.

During this time, it’s common to feel angry, sometimes at doctors or nurses who couldn’t prevent the death, or at friends and family who we think didn’t do enough. We might even feel angry at the person who left us. Guilt is another common emotion. We might keep thinking about things we wish we had said or done differently. We might wonder if we could have prevented the death somehow.

But it’s important to remember that most of the time, death is beyond anyone’s control. If you feel relief after someone’s death, especially after they’ve suffered a lot, it’s a natural and common feeling. Bereavement counseling can be really helpful in working through all these complicated emotions. It’s a way to get the support and guidance you need during this tough time.

Grieving is like a journey, and it’s important to know that there are different stages that people often go through when they’re dealing with a big loss, like the death of a loved one or a difficult breakup. These stages can happen in any order, and you might even go back and forth between them a few times.

Denial: This is when you might find it hard to believe that the loss has really happened. It’s like your mind’s way of protecting you from the shock. It’s completely normal and can be a way of coping.

Anger: When you’re grieving, you might feel angry. This anger can be directed at yourself, the person you lost, or even at other people who are close to you. It’s okay to feel this way, and it’s important to understand that it’s part of the process.

Bargaining: Sometimes, people try to make deals or bargains, even if they know it’s not really possible. For example, they might pray to a higher power or try to negotiate with the situation. This stage is a way of trying to find a solution, but it doesn’t always work.

Depression: This stage is like a practice run for the sadness that comes with the loss. You might feel really sad, regretful, fearful, or uncertain. It’s a sign that you’re starting to accept what’s happened.

Acceptance: This is when you begin to come to terms with the reality of the loss. It doesn’t mean you’re completely okay, but it shows that you’re starting to detach emotionally and see things more objectively. The timing of this stage varies for everyone, and it’s important to remember that even when one person has reached acceptance, others around them might still be going through their own stages of grief.

Remember, it’s okay to feel these emotions when you’re grieving, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s a unique journey for each person, and it’s okay to seek help, like bereavement counseling, if you’re finding it particularly tough.

Grieving can be a rollercoaster of emotions. At first, you might feel really agitated, and this can be strongest about two weeks after someone passes away. But soon, you might start feeling quiet sadness, stress, or even depression. You might withdraw from others and become very silent.

These emotional ups and downs can be confusing to your friends and family, but they’re a normal part of grieving. The agitation might calm down, but you might have more moments of feeling down, especially between four to six weeks after the loss. Sometimes, intense sadness can come back when you’re reminded of the person who passed away, maybe by something you see or hear.

People around you might not understand why you suddenly burst into tears for no obvious reason, and you might feel like avoiding them. But it’s usually better to try to get back to your normal activities after a couple of weeks. Even if it looks like you’re just sitting around, you’re likely thinking a lot about the person you lost, remembering both the good and not-so-good times you shared. This thinking is an important part of coming to terms with the death.

With time, the intense feelings of loss might lessen. You’ll start to think about other things and even look to the future. But you’ll always carry a sense of missing that person in your heart.

For those who’ve lost a partner, reminders of the relationship can be everywhere, like seeing other couples together or in media images of happy families. Over time, you can start to feel whole again, even though there’s a part missing.

Even years later, you might catch yourself talking as if the person who passed away is still with you. And that’s okay; it’s a way of keeping their memory alive.

Bereavement counseling is helpful at any time, whether it’s been weeks, months, or years since the loss. These stages of mourning can overlap and show up differently in each person. Most people recover from a major loss within one or two years.

The final stage of grieving is about letting go of the person who’s passed away and starting a new kind of life without them.

Remember, there’s no one right way to grieve. We’re all unique, and our grieving processes are too. Bereavement counseling is tailored to your needs.

Also, different cultures have their own ways of dealing with death. They have their own ceremonies and rituals for coping with loss. Some see death as a part of the ongoing cycle of life, not the end. These rituals can be very public or very private. Bereavement counseling from someone who understands your culture can be really helpful.

Grief and loss can be very painful for us humans because we’re naturally social beings. We form strong emotional bonds with our families and friends, and these connections are really important to us.

These connections are deep-rooted in our nature, and we feel sad and hurt when we’re alone. We have a strong need to be close to others, and it makes us happy when our social connections are strong.

Usually, we’re not loners. We depend on others, and our friends and family are a big part of who we are. So when we lose someone we love, it’s like losing a part of ourselves. Grief is the way our minds try to heal this hurt.

To get better and feel good again, we have to accept that our loved one is gone and find new connections with others. We’ll still feel some sadness, but it’s a gentle sadness mixed with happy memories.

Bereavement counseling can be really helpful in this process of healing and moving forward. It’s like a guide to help you feel better and connect with life again.

When you’re grieving, there are some things you can do to help yourself:

Feel Your Emotions: It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or even confused. These feelings are normal during grief. Let yourself feel them without judgment.

Talk About It: Don’t keep your feelings bottled up. Talk to friends, family, or a counselor. Sharing your thoughts and memories can be comforting.

Take Care of Your Health: Eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise if you can. Taking care of your body can help your mind cope better.

Create a Routine: Try to stick to a daily routine. It can provide a sense of stability during a turbulent time.

Avoid Big Decisions: Grief can cloud your judgment. It’s best to postpone major decisions, like selling a house or making big life changes, until you’re feeling more settled.

Find Ways to Remember: Create a memorial or keep a journal to remember your loved one. Celebrate their life and the good times you had together.

Lean on Support: Let others help you. Accept support from friends and family when they offer it.

Be Patient: Grieving takes time. It’s different for everyone, and it’s okay to take as much time as you need.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help if you’re finding it hard to cope with grief. There are people and resources available to support you through this tough time.

Bereavement counseling is a kind of help you can get when you’re dealing with the loss of someone you care about. Here’s what you can expect from it:

Someone to Talk To: In bereavement counseling, you’ll have a trained person to talk to about your feelings. They’re there to listen and understand what you’re going through.

Safe Space: It’s a safe and private place where you can share your thoughts and emotions without judgment. You can cry, get angry, or talk about your memories—it’s all okay.

Grief Support: The counselor can help you understand your grief better and guide you through the ups and downs of grieving. They can also provide tools and strategies to cope with your emotions.

Healing Process: Bereavement counseling is like a guide on your journey to healing. It won’t make your pain disappear, but it can make it easier to handle.

Personalised Help: The counseling is tailored to your specific needs. Everyone’s grief is different, so the counselor will work with you in a way that makes sense for you.

No Rush: You can go at your own pace. There’s no rush to “get over” your grief. The counselor is there to support you for as long as you need.

Respect for Your Loved One: Your loved one won’t be forgotten. In counseling, you can keep their memory alive and find ways to honor them.

Remember, bereavement counseling is all about helping you through a tough time. It’s okay to ask for this support if you’re struggling with the loss of someone dear to you.

I’m Paul Parkin – A therapist and life coach. This is why you should work with me:

Paul Parkin Online CounsellorI offer compassionate understanding and support throughout the grieving process. I help individuals come to terms with the reality of their loved one’s departure and encourage them to cherish invaluable memories. Moreover, I empower clients to move forward, embrace a new life, and find strength in the face of loss. My commitment to guiding individuals through their grief journey makes me a valuable resource for those in need of support and healing.

What some of my recent clients have said about our work together.

I had never had counselling before and heard about Paul through a family member. As us men really find it hard to reach out and talk about our struggles.

I lost my best friend 2 years ago and Paul helped me to understand the grieving process and accept my best friend’s death.

Paul also helped me with my self-confidence and a few other problematic issues too.

I just want to say how much Paul has helped me through the tough days and made me realise that life is worth fighting for. I honestly can’t thank Paul enough for what he has done for me in the time we have worked together.

I never thought I’d ever make that brave/scary move to ask for help, but I’m so, so glad I did. I’m an anxious person as it is and Paul put me at ease from the get-go!

Thank you so much Paul, I’d highly recommend him to anyone.

Sam. UK.
April 2021

I initially sought Paul’s help for bereavement counseling after losing a close family member. At first, I was skeptical about online counseling but gave it a try. After my first session in 2011, I realised Paul was excellent at his job. Slowly, I opened up, and he helped me not only with grief, but also with various life issues, including struggles in work and with relationships.

With Paul’s support, I’ve made significant progress in becoming a happier and more positive person. My self-esteem has improved, and I’ve learned to handle challenges with greater confidence. While I still have some way to go, I’m closer to where I want to be, and I know I can always turn to Paul for help in the future.

I finally feel like I’m getting “me” back with a non-judgmental friend by my side. I’d encourage anyone considering counseling to give it a try, it has transformed my life, and it’s well worth the effort.

Michaela. UK.
December 2011

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