Grief for Older People
Bereavement is a universal experience but affects everyone differently. The loss may be a partner of many years, an adult child, a close friend even a devoted and loyal pet.
We talk about the death of someone as a loss and it is usually those who are left behind that feel lost. Thoughts and feelings can be numb or chaotic. Even knowing someone is going to die, through illness, can still be a shock when it happens. These initial feelings can last into weeks. If the person who died has been in your life for many years there can be a huge void, an emptiness that feels as though it will never recede. Life can seem uncertain and you can feel vulnerable.
It's ok to be sad, to be angry or perhaps relieved if that person is no longer in pain. Guilt, too, perhaps something wasn't done or said that you wish now could be different. These are all normal grieving feelings. Sometimes there are physical symptoms, apart from tears, feeling constantly tired, not wanting to eat, aches and pains, sleeping problems.
Everyone copes differently because we are all unique, even within a family we all have a different relationship to the person who has died.
How can counselling help?
Talking about your life together, the pain of the death, the funeral. Often these thoughts are constantly around and can feel overwhelming at times. You don't want to burden family and friends with your sadness and can feel isolated and lonely.
Perhaps not initially after the death, perhaps a few weeks or months when everyone seemingly gets on with their lives and you are still struggling with your loss talking to someone can help.