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An experience of bereavement

We are a grateful to a friend of Brightstone for writing about her experiences of grief in the article below. She describes a painful process of dealing with the loss of a close relative, which eventually resulted in acceptance. The message is one of hope, that it is possible to come through the difficult emotions that make up grief and move to a place of acceptance.
It is suggested that there are five stages of grief, and this is what I experienced. For me there was no short cut, the emotions were painful at times and it felt as though I was on a rollercoaster.

At first, I couldn’t believe it was happening. I searched for the person in every crowd, hoping and waiting that they would turn up, but they did not. I now understand that this was denial.

I felt angry towards God for taking the person away. Death came knocking on the door and took the person away from this world and I wondered ‘how could life do this to me?’ Life has no right to take a life away. I started to blame the people I loved the most, as well as myself, for not being there more. I questioned the Doctors’ conduct: did they really do their best?

I began to question ‘Why?’ Why did they have to die? Memories rushed through my mind and I felt lost and disconnected from my body. I thought I saw them in a crowd and wanted to rush over – but they were gone in a flash.

I asked myself, and bargained with God. Why can’t the evil / bad people of this world have died instead of a good person? I asked, ‘Why not take me? What is the point of me being here in this world?’

At this time I felt as though I didn’t want to get out of bed. I felt alone, as though no one could understand me.  I'd recently moved to a new area, I felt that depression was starting to settle in, and I started having nightmares about dying. I decided that it was time to go for counselling.  

I also felt afraid, wondering how I would cope. And guilty for not saying how I felt… guilty for not trying harder to say goodbye. It was like the sun was laughing at me for not doing the right things. My heart felt heavy, as though there was a rock weighing me down with guilt and sadness. I didn’t want anything reminding me of the person at this point, and I couldn’t even look at old photographs. I talked about these feelings with my counsellor, she listened to me, I felt that she understood what I was going through. I felt accepted.

As time passed, I felt myself slowly emerging from the pain, accepting what had happened. I walked in places that I hadn’t changed for some time, and sometimes the memories would appear like a pin prick of sadness in my heart.

The five stages of grief did not happen in the order I had read about. I now understand that each person may go through grief in different stages, or sometimes at the same time.  Only time eases the pain away… but it is never gone.

If you are currently experiencing bereavement and would like to talk to one of our Brightstone counsellors, then please contact us on 07927 053 650 book a free consultation or to find out more about the support available.

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