The journey to recovery is unique for every person and it’s important that a person does what’s right for them when faced with sudden loss. There is no perfect or predictable way to grieve, the impact upon the person’s friends and family can be absolutely devastating. Some people feel absolutely numb with shock upon hearing the news, like they simply can’t believe it’s real and some people feel waves of grief, anger or a terrible sense of guilt about whether there was something they could have done to prevent it, maybe feeling angry about what happened, or overwhelmed by everything that needs to be dealt with now that they are gone.

How does grief feel?

Feelings of grief can include sadness, regret, remorse, numbness, disappointment, anger, fear, resentment, loneliness, lacking in motivation and many others.

Grief is an individual response to loss and does not follow a particular order or set list of emotions. As well as being painful and intense, grief also offers us comfort, protection and ultimately peace of mind as we move through grief and begin to adjust to our loss. Grief has no particular timetable. It moves at its own pace, sometimes so slowly that we don’t recognise that we are moving at all. We can feel stuck sometimes, wondering if we will ever feel any different as we grieve. Getting stuck for a while is important – it allows us the opportunity to focus even deeper and work harder to better understand and manage the loss. Getting really stuck though, is something different and should be a call to seek assistance from a professional source.

The passing of someone is a reality most of us would rather not face, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and make sure you give yourself the time to grieve freely. There is no right or wrong way to do things and you need to be honest about what you can and cannot handle.

It can be difficult to hear the events leading up to a person’s sudden passing, but it might also be an important part of the healing journey for you. Finding out this information can help a person process what has happened. Talk to the people who were there or the medical staff involved to put a framework around the events. Respect your own feelings. Feelings such as numbness, anger, guilt and shock are all normal and natural reactions that need to be expressed. If you need to cry, do so, however, if you don’t want to cry, don’t do it and don’t feel guilty about it and don’t be afraid to ask to be alone, or for company or help if you need it.

When it comes to grieving, throw the rule book out the window. Whether you need to be alone or with someone you trust, do what you need to do to grieve genuinely.

It can take months or even years to recover from the loss of someone close to you. If you feel like you’re having trouble functioning or moving past your grief, consider additional help, consider joining a support group which is a great way to get into contact with people who can relate to your experience and can help you on your journey through and beyond your grief. Speaking to a counsellor or therapist may also be an important step in your recovery or perhaps you may like to offer support to others who may be affected by the loss - offer to be a shoulder to lean on, taking the opportunity to offer practical assistance such as shopping, cooking, driving, baking etc. Try to have and awareness of difficult times, like anniversaries and holidays and make yourself available during these days not only for the persons concerned, however, for yourself as well.

Remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. While it may feel as if it will never end, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Accepting loss as part of the process, reserving judgement and getting solid support will help you work through emotions and slowly but surely move on to happier times.

One helpful approach to dealing with grief is to remember the “Three C’s”:

  •  Caring for yourself;
  • Compartmentalising the grieving; and
  • Connecting with positive memories.

In the beginning, focus on the first “C”Caring for yourself

This means giving yourself time out to grieve and to process what has happened, without expecting to be able to make sense of it all. It may be helpful to talk to someone you feel comfortable opening up to, and it may be useful to go to a support group to connect with other people who have been through what you have been through or through similar circumstances or to speak with a Professional Therapist or Counsellor, however, the important thing is to be kind to yourself. If you need time off work or you need privacy, then make the necessary arrangements or if you need to go out walking or running every day to clear your head, then do so, whatever you do, be patient with yourself and give yourself time to process what has happened.

The Second Stage - Compartmentalising the grieving

While it is important to make space in your life for the grieving process to happen, you also need to make sure you are properly meeting your other emotional needs too. As a human being you have a need for creative challenges, meaningful work and to be exerting yourself mentally and physically. You have a need for emotional intimacy and to be able to give and receive attention from people you feel safe with and you have a need for good nutrition and sleep. You will still be able to honour the memory of the person that you have lost by grieving for them but its best to do this by compartmentalising the grieving as something you do at certain times of the day, perhaps for an hour each evening at first or making a small area within your special place to place a photo, a candle or some other personal object to honour that person. That then becomes your grieving time when you grieve opening and fully, remembering the person you lost and allowing yourself to feel what you feel, however, for the remainder of the day, you gently but firmly turn your attention to meeting your needs as a human being and living your life.

The Third Stage - Connecting with the positive memories you have of that person.

This may not be something you are ready to do in the early days, however, the person that has been lost is part of the story of your life and they always will be and the positive times you had together will always be part of you.

In the initial stages of grief it can be hard to remember that because all we tend to think of is the fact that the person is no longer with us, but in time, as the grieving process takes its course, it gradually becomes easier to remember the person for who they were then, they were alive as you, reconnect with the positive times you had together.

Therefore, allow hypnotherapy and counselling to assist:

  • in gaining support through this process,
  • help you access a calm sense of strength and resilience that you can draw upon whenever you need to, now and in the future
  • greatly reduce or overcome the emotions;
  • instinctively learn to calm yourself down and think rationally; and
  • build-up your confidence and self-respect.

For further information contact us on (03) 5223 2370 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.