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Grief Counseling


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Hello, everyone. 

It's been 9 days since I lost my beloved mom to a terrible, senseless accident. She was crossing the street on green light, and was killed by a vehicle in front of my day. To complicate my enormous grief is the fact that I live half-a-world away from my parents. I was not at the funeral because borders are clised. Im scared to death for my father because he wittnessed the whole thing. I try to push away the thoughts of what that might have been like. Im very traumatized though. 

I had another major grief in my life about 13 years ago with discovery that my son is severely disabled. I never properly grieved for that, I think. So for me it was pushed into my subconcious so I could cope, but periodically, very violently, my grief would breech the surface and knock me flat.

I was concidering grief counseling. For my mom, at the moment, but I quickly discovered weird ambivalence about it. It is like i keep finding reasons to postpone it, telling myself that reading about it is enough.  Anyone can give me insight about this?

Also, would love to hear pros and cons of counseling. What did you find helpul or not? Is it truly worth it? What does it look like? What issues are explored? Thanks in advance.

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Hello ZenGarden, 

I am so very sorry for your loss. What a terrible shock, compounded by the distance and not being able to attend her funeral.  So hard to bear. 

You sound like you have a lot of self awareness, which is a good start if you're considering counseling. But I'm not surprised that you also have ambivalence. Sharing your deepest feelings with a person you don't know well, even if a skilled professional, may feel like a risk that you're not prepared to take on right now. And I think that's ok. It's very early in your loss, and it simply may be to soon to open up. Coming to this forum is a great start. Another thing I can recommend is keeping a journal for yourself. It's a way to express your feelings in complete safety, and you always have the option to share with someone else at a later time. 

In my case, I was lucky that I already had a therapist that I knew well and who also knew my husband. So I have been seeing her ever since he passed and her presence in my life is a huge gift. 

As far as pros and cons of counseling, the main negatives I see are cost and the possibility that you may not "click" with the first therapist you work with. You may need to see a a few before you find one that works for you.

The most helpful thing about therapy for me is knowing there is a safe and welcoming person/space/time where I can open up about the most difficult events and feelings in my life. That's a precious relationship, a precious trust, and an anchor to a positive reality for me.

The issues explored are whatever you want to explore, whether grief now or from the past, or something else. There's no right and wrong in therapy and no judgment of you for not doing grief "right." 

Your hesitation about counseling is understandable. Now may not be the right time, but keep your mind open to the possibility. 

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