„Tears cleanse the heart“
Fjodor Michailowitsch Dostojewski
The loss of a dear one, including the loss of an unborn child, can fill us with deep sorrow and even turn our life upside-down. But so, too, can the loss of a body organ or its integrity, from disease or by an accident.
Whether, how or why we experience grief varies from person to person, just like the responses to any given situation, and the resulting needs.
Loss and grief are part of life, but many of us no longer understand mourning to be the natural and healing response it is.
Every stage in the mourning process should be allowed the time and importance it deserves, because fully accepting a loss takes time. To enable the experience of loss to have a positive and empowering impact on our life, every emotion that emerges should be acknowledged, rather than being pushed away.
“Grieving requires fellow humans, since tears are there to be seen, heard, understood, accepted and validated” (Jorgos Canacakis).
Supporting this process is what I do in grief counseling: Providing mourners with a space in which they feel safe and accepted, and thus enabling them to have the courage to express their unique way of grieving. Only then mourners can live through the various stages of grieving without getting stuck in any of them.
In many cases, talking is enough or alternatively, body exercises are experienced as helpful. In addition, homeopathic or systemic counseling may provide support. The way in which I will accompany you through the process will be as uniquely tailored to your needs as your way of mourning is unique.
The four stages of mourning
Grief counselors differentiate between four stages of mourning (according to Lothrop and Harder):
Shock and numbness
(Hours – weeks)
e.g. panic, despair, difficulty in making decisions
Eruption of emotions / Searching and longing
(after 4-6 months)
e.g. pain, anger, guilt, failure, regret, sadness, loneliness, jealousy, despair, bitterness, restlessness, love, search for the ‘why’
Disorientation and transformation
(after 1/2 year-1 year)
e.g. no energy, depression-like state, eating and sleeping disorders; unresolved emotions such as guilt, if any, reduced immunological resistance
Renewal and reorientation
Integration of the experience of loss, hope, growing self-confidence, finding purpose