Loss is hard enough. On top of that experience, grief is often complicated in the symptoms we struggle with, the waves of different emotions and memories, the sudden dips and many other facets.
Complexities also are seen in our relationship with the individual, how we lost them, what they mean to us, as well as supports we had or did not have after losing them. Losing someone suddenly, losing someone to a terrible illness over years, losing someone to suicide, substance abuse, old age, or any reason can have a different impact on us and is also unique for everyone.
While we cannot replace that hole you might feel, we can help build walls of reinforcement around it over time, and work through the complexities of grief with you. Many times people are isolated due to the nature of the loss, people's discomfort or inexperience with loss, or to the fact that people rush in to help in the weeks after a death (when we are likely in a bubble of denial, depression, or confusion among other things) and then may drift away.
Even if you have a good support system in place and someone willing to talk about it with you, sometimes you may feel you are somehow burdening them or you may also not feel like talking about it and just want someone to sit quietly with you or do others things together while they know it is there in your heart .
Additionally while people mean well, they do not usually 'get it' unless they have gone through it and even then your experience with loss is unique to you. You might hear things like "at least it was fast", "at least you had time to say goodbye", "at least they lived a long time, "at least they did not have to age", "at least you had the time you had with them and a lot of love", at least, at least, at least. These statements while aimed to help often do not acknowledge the pain of loss.
You may also experience people telling you how to grieve, that you might want to start moving on, that you are moving on too fast, that you should not hold on to their personal belongings too long, that you should just act like everything is normal, that you are not crying enough or too much, etc.
We are here to listen, to respect your relationship (all aspects - not just the parts of them people tend to idealize after a death) with the person you lost, to allow you to grieve, and to help you work through the emotions, symptoms you may be experiencing, and develop coping skills as well as a support system.
If loss and grief are negatively affecting your life or you just want to talk it out, we are here. Therapy is successful in treating symptoms, whether it is used on its own or along with medication management by a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner. You are already making progress by reading this and seeking help which is difficult enough to do while grieving. Take another step and contact us for help.
Garden City Therapy is in Nassau County of Long Island nearby Franklin Square, Floral Park, Mineola, Hempstead, New Hyde Park, Carle Place, Uniondale, Westbury, and also serves: Merrick, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Oceanside and Long Beach. Office is located close to the LIRR.
Michelle Ambalu, Lcsw and group are therapists in Garden City, NY providing adult counseling.We are licensed social workers and psychotherapists who specializes in Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders and Relational Issues.