Symptoms of grief include:
- Depression, anxiety or fear
- Emptiness, dissociation or lack of feeling
- Feeling out of place
- Difficulty sleeping or eating
- Hyperactivity or lethargy
Deep sadness and crying
- Rage and Anger
- Loss of meaning and purpose in life
- Thoughts of one’s own death
- Negative, critical thoughts about oneself or others
- Loneliness and isolation
my old friend,
I cannot escape thee –
You open my heart
my soul asunder.
Grief is a natural emotional and physiological response to loss, though many of us have trouble accepting and adjusting to the course of mourning as it unfolds. Grief occurs with many different kinds of losses – from the death of a family member, beloved partner, friend, acquaintance or pet to the end of a relationship, marriage, job, home or phase of life as child-rearing or retirement. The symptoms that occur vary in intensity, emotional impact and often come in waves.
The state of mourning has a very individual and unique landscape – different from our ‘normal’ way of being in the world.In our extraverted and busy culture, it is hard to accept the introverted, internal feeling nature of grief and to take the time out that mourning requires. You may feel separate from others as mourning continues, alienated from the flow of life and from people who appear happier and more involved. Sometimes support is available initially but as time goes on, that support fades. You can feel pressure from others and yourself to move on with one’s life (get over it), but you may actually feel unable to move on or lack the energy to do so.
Getting professional help in the form of individual or group grief counseling can be an important resource in understanding your particular grief cycle and finding the right ways to cope with it. Grieving is often a special introspective period of one’s life – a time that potentially leads to growth, change and acceptance of the cycle of life and death.
Now it’s time, it’s finally time
for spring and thaw
to open roads,
for constricted hearts to
soften into the shimmering horizon.
from Driving away from you by Phyllis Klein
At Women’s Therapy Services, our counselors offer guidance and support in navigating through the grief process. We evaluate your needs and offer individual grief counseling or outside referrals to other professionals. Please feel free to call Marlena Kushner (415)563-2759 or Phyllis Klein (415)273-1036 for more information.