Grief Counseling Education Program: Grief is Loss of Something
Grief and the process that accompanies it is a reaction to loss. It is a natural reaction to something that was once valued but is no longer within one’s touch. We usually think of death, but this can be applied to loss love, loss finance and anything we value. While the grief correlates with the subjective value of the object lost, it still nonetheless is a real experience for the grieving agent or person. Grief counselors must remember this.
With this in mind, we need to only recall a few weeks ago the tragic loss at the Boston Marathon, where bystanders and athletes alike loss limbs. This type of loss is especially traumatic and life altering. It brings about a loss of continuity of the person’s self image. This destruction of self image is a huge loss for anyone. With the loss of self image comes all the new hurdles and struggles that constantly remind one of the previous life.
Like any loss, the stages and oscilliations of grief will be intense. The injured victims at the Boston Marathon will need to learn to adapt, cope and learn new skills but this is far harder than simply words. For some it may take time, but for others it may never occur. The adaption and accomodation to the new situation may be too traumatic. Traumatic grief and PTSD may haunt them for their entire life. This psychological scarring is by far a cruel cross to carry, but with counseling, some may be able to find new meaning.
New meaning and creating new life narratives are key to grief recovery. It involves not forgetting the past but accepting it and incorporating it into one’s new life story. It never forgets the past chapters of the book, but understands the present as it is and looks forward to a new future. Again, easier said than done, but this is the theory behind it and what grief counselors will be hoping to accomplish with these victims.
In the end, think about the trauma and loss you would feel if such a horrible and heinous event occurred to you? Would you be able to eventually adapt and re-create your new life narrative?
For now, let us pray for these victims that they may find the courage to eventually overcome the trauma. Patience, hope and charity are the keys to helping these victims find new meaning–they cannot do it alone but need a sojourner to show them the way.
If you are interested in learning more about the nature of loss and grief, then please review our program and click grief counseling certification.
Please also see if your academic and professional needs are met with the Grief Counseling Education Program.
Mark Moran, MA, GC-C