Loss and Grief
Many people find it difficult to cope with the loss of any relationship due to a breakup, divorce or death of any loved one: friend, spouse, child or grandparent. Each loss is so very different, and so is your story. You may have thought everyone would understand exactly how you felt and now it feels like “no one gets you.” Sometimes you feel like your friends can’t bear to hear the same story over and over again, but you still need to talk about it. After all it has only been 6 months.
Are you asking yourself: How can I sort out all my complicated feelings, everything feels so overwhelming? That is a good question to ask! Many people don’t understand grief of any kind, or prefer to ignore it, and unfortunately there is still a lot of bad information being taught about grief. Trust me, there are not 5 stages of grief, and grief is not orderly!
It may be that the type of loss you experienced is causing the overwhelming feelings: was it sudden, traumatic, and out of the blue? Have you been recently told about an affair, was there a break up you didn’t see coming, are you a lesbian widow with no support in your community, did you experience the death of a child, was there a homicide or a freak accident? All of these kinds of things due to the nature of the experience, the lack of support, the suddenness, the depth and so on, can make the loss more complicated and problematic for someone. Profound losses are often what confound us when others don’t understand our troubling emotions.
People often struggle with spirituality and loss/death/grief as well. Many become angry and feel they have lost contact with their Higher Power or God. You are free to discuss any issue related to your spirituality in my office, no matter your religion or faith perspective. I do have a spiritual direction background and am fairly well versed on Christian, Jewish and Buddhist perspectives related to loss, death, grief and resilience. I am also well-schooled in 12-step program philosophy, and other related programs to support your healing and growth. I do understand non-belief or no belief, as well as agnosticism. If I don’t know your particular spiritual perspective, you are welcome to teach me so that I might be respectful and learn how best to be supportive to you in this area. Most importantly: all conversations are welcome!
What about grieving in the LGBT community? You will find compassionate presence here. You will be supported and cared for with respect. There are so few places to find support when your partner or loved one has died from breast or prostate cancer, HIV or you have split up from your partner, or someone has had an affair and does not know who to talk with. Come here into this place of care and safety where you will be heard and validated for who you are and companioned in your loss. We all need a safe place to land where there is a freedom to be open about who we are and what we have lost.
Relationships, no matter what kind they are, can be difficult to navigate. It takes time and energy to build trust with another person. Most people want relationships in which there are feelings of safety, compassion, care and a sense of ease with loving respect. These are not difficult to attain if you and the one you love seek to resolve what stands in your way. In doing so, you can enhance your connection with each other and deepen the core trust that brought you together in the beginning and/or have established in your family.
Imago Relationship Therapy is a positive and affirming way to heal the difficulties couples face when there have been challenges of family loss, lies, affairs or other kinds of betrayal, problems with power struggles, lack of understanding, and a need to deepen intimacy.
And again, if you are grieving the loss of a relationship you will be supported here, no matter what kind of loss you have experienced. Healing is a journey and you are taking the first step.
I work with women in 12-step recovery who want to go beyond the beginning phase of recovery and want to deepen their lives, women who wish to further their growth and learn new journaling and meditation exercises, and other practices which lead to mindful living. Under the influence of addiction a lot was lost, under the influence of sobriety healing tools can deepen our relationship to self and others.
I work with people in life transitions:
- Loss of job
- Loss of friendships
- Loss of security
- Loss of self-esteem
- Loss of hope
- Loss of dreams
- Loss of family contact
- Loss of self
All of these are important shifts, losses and can be recovered with work.
Under the influence of addiction we can lose a lot, under the influence of sobriety we can heal and deepen our relationship to ourselves and others.