How to Become a Grief Counselor and Loss of Parent
The article below is about one year of grief after the loss of a mother. The woman who is middle aged writes very candidly and open about her initial expression of pain to the very end of acceptance.
The utter devastation of loss is seen as she receives the call. She laments over this loss through the following months almost lost as she tries to rediscover herself as a woman without a mother. She lists the dreaded one years marks as well as holidays and birthdays and how she learned to adapt to this loss and allow the goodness of the world around here to sustain her. She writes:
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death. That means I’ve endured many of the difficult “firsts” that grievers dread — first birthdays, holidays, and school events. This one-year mark also signifies that I’ve learned how to live in a world without my mom in it. And let me tell you, that’s no small feat.
When the phone rang a year ago at 3 a.m. with news that Mom had passed away, I started shaking uncontrollably. Then came the flood of tears, accompanied by a flood of jumbled thoughts. I collapsed into my husband’s arms and said between breathless sobs, “I don’t have a mom anymore.” Releasing those six words into the universe was a jarring, surreal, unsettling moment.
To read the entire article, please click here
I think all people are different to a degree, but react most the same way when loss arises. The loss of a parent is definitely a difficult one. I imagine it is almost as if learning to re-see the world in a different light and prism.
This process of adaptation and writing the next chapter in one’s life is not about forgetting, or not hurting, but transforming the relationship with the parent who has gone. The new relationship takes time to form, but as the woman discovered, she was still a woman with a mother, but just in a different way. She also learned in this transformation that since the relationship still existed, she could begin to breathe again and allow the love around her to help heal her.
This is no easy path, nor one that anyone ever envies. Yet for most, it is a path we must all travel. While those who are enduring it, endure, many of us who have yet to are scared to even fathom it. It is frightening and we would much rather deal with it when it comes, or in some bad cases, pretend it will never happen which can lead to a horrid grief reaction.
After one year, we cannot with certainty say where one should be emotionally. To put all people on a time table of how they adapt to loss is bad counseling. Yet a person should have some routine of a new normalcy. One he or she may not yet like, but one he or she is learning to get to know. A new normalcy where he or she understands the circle of life and the fact that relationships never die but only change.
Those wishing to learn how to become a grief counselor need to help guide those who lose a parent, like the author of the article. They need to help them through the grief process and let them experience it. Of course, grief counselors need to identify unhealthy grieving patterns, but we should not discourage the grief of the first year for it plants the seeds for a new life where one is able to adjust with the pain and write a new chapter in their life that is not void of the loved one but presented in a new light.
I do believe after the first holidays and birthdays have gone, one is finally able to at least start to remember and celebrate the life the deceased parent and to enjoy their presence in a more spiritual manner.
All of our prayers go out to people who have lost their parents. May they find peace and solace in their loss and realize that death is only a temporary divide and that the relationship while seemingly broken, is in reality still strong and existent but in a different way and level.
For those interested in how to become a grief counselor please review our program in Grief Counseling. The program consists of four core courses. After completion of those core courses, qualified professionals can apply for certification.
Certification lasts for three years and is renewed via clinical and academic hours via teaching, counseling, reading and continuing education in grief counseling.
Those who qualify for the program would include anyone with health care licenses or degrees. Other qualified candidates include those with general social study degrees ranging from counseling to ministry. Other professionals would include ministers, counselors, social workers, funeral directors, teachers, nurses, pastoral care givers and hospice. Many professionals who earn certifications in grief counseling at the Academy of Grief Counseling are able to utilize their newfound skills for the good of others and one day also help themselves understand their own eventual grief and loss.
If you feel the call to this area of counseling, I recommend you pursue it. It not only can enhance an already existed career with options but also give one a great satisfaction in helping others overcome grief and bereavement in a healthy way.
If you still wish to learn how to become a grief counselor, then please review the program in full or give us a call so we can answer all of your questions.
In the meantime, please enjoy the blog and article!