When to go to bereavement counselling

(8 Posts)
EmmaCourtney Mon 21-Nov-16 15:04:31

My best friend died just over two years ago. I'd been best friends with her for nearly 25 years; she was like a sister, especially as I'm not at all close to my actual family. It was a traumatic death - she was diagnosed, very belatedly, with a rare, aggressive form of cancer at the age of 34, which killed her within a month of diagnosis. We then moved house about 9 months after her death, from a community in which I had put down very strong roots, to the other side of the country, to a place where I knew nobody. I think I was deliberately trying to cut contact with almost everyone I knew: I wanted to punish all my old friends, for not being able to stop her dying and for surviving themselves; and I wanted to protect myself from being hurt by anyone else dying. But I swiftly regretted it. I hate where we're living: I've made new friends, but I miss almost everything about our old home. And then at the end of last week, my cat got run over and died. I've just completely gone to pieces. I can't stop crying. I couldn't get out of bed all weekend. It made me realise how much my friend's death just changed everything - I used to be a generally upbeat and optimistic person, who could take things in her stride. But now I'm scared and sad all the time, and the slightest thing really upsets me, and makes me think that everything's falling apart. I feel a bit pathetic posting this - I know that most people on this forum have suffered much closer deaths. But I have no idea whether it's 'normal' to feel this way; whether it's all part of the grieving process. Or whether I'm unhealthily stuck. And whether bereavement counselling might help.

RooDaisy Mon 21-Nov-16 15:09:35

I'm very sorry for your loss. flowers for you.
I lost my Nan on the 7th October and that's the biggest, single loss I've ever experienced. I don't think there are any set rules for grieving, you've got to do it in your own way and in your own time. I'm taking it one day at a time.
If you think counselling will help or it's something you'd like to explore, then I say go for it.

Helbelle75 Mon 21-Nov-16 15:13:28

So sorry for your loss. I lost my nan earlier this year, closely followed by a miscarriage and I didn't see how I was going to get through. I went to cruse bereavement counselling and found it invaluable.
A lot of people don't understand grief ime, and think there is a time limit on it. There isn't and it was nice to talk to someone completely non judgemental.
I hope you find something to help.

firsttimer12345 Mon 21-Nov-16 15:16:20

So sorry for your loss, two years isn't that long in the grand scheme of things. flowers

I had bereavement counselling a few years ago after we found out my grandad had cancer. My last session, as you're only allowed so many on NHS, came the day after he died. Maybe it was a bit weird to have the counselling before he passed but it really helped me deal with the situation and helped me to understand the reactions of those around me too. I still get upset, and when other family members have died more recently it sets me off thinking about him as he was the first really close person to me to pass away.

I don't think there is any right or wrong length of time to be upset. I still get upset about DH's grandparents although i'm sure he has dealt with it all. It sounds like you've had a lot of big changes recently and, positive or negative, change can really throw you off for a while.

I had to go back for more counselling last year after too many changes - buying our first house, getting married and starting my own business. Lots of positive things but a lot to deal with.

Don't feel pathetic Emma, perhaps make an appointment with your GP and see if you can get some support.

cocochanel21 Mon 21-Nov-16 17:28:39

Sorry for your lossflowers

I had bereavement counselling after my dd died last year. When she died I was 7mths pregnant with DD2. I didn't deal with my grief at the time and totally blocked everything out. When dd2 was about 2mths old I fell apart and couldn't cope. At first I wasn't keen to have counselling but I can now say it was the best thing I ever did.
I did find it hard to open up and sometimes in the beginning I found it very upsetting to talk about dd and didn't want to continue with it.
Speak to your GP.
Take Care

Sittingintheautumnsunshine Mon 21-Nov-16 17:33:36

There's never a right or wrong time, as no one goes through the same experience or pattern.

I had counselling around 3 months after my Dad died, and it was frankly amazing. I work with the bereaved, and I see some people who fall to pieces, and gradually become stronger. Others start strong, but collapse later.

Try your GP first. flowersflowersflowers

phoria Tue 22-Nov-16 01:26:13

Hi Emma, so sorry you're having such a tough time. You've had several big life changes one on top of the other so it's no wonder you're struggling. My mum died recently and I decided to buy a house recently thinking it would be a fresh start - big mistake! I hate the new area and feel like moving from an area I loved at a time I'm feeling so fragile was the wrong thing to do. But I guess you live and you learn. Be kind to yourself.

Don't beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. My mum dying and the stress of living in a house I don't want has made me so anxious. I'm a wreck. I've started counselling with Cruse but it's too early to tell if it's making a difference. Sounds like you could benefit from it though. Big hugs.

sarahC40 Tue 06-Dec-16 22:55:44

Hugs to you - so sorry that you're suffering. It feels very familiar (lost my darling bil that I've known most of my life and was close to) recently. My oldest ds was unfortunately with him about 20 mins after he was diagnosed, and spent a miserable 18 months tring to process it all aged 15. It's been a horrible year and he got very low (lots of anxiety and dark thoughts). He's had counselling for anxiety through school and camsh, which was a good experience for me, ds and dh. We just had time to recognise each other's pain. Other ds has self referred, but isn't talking at the moment...it'll come I'm sure. Dh is on the brink of getting some help (gentle, patient persuasion). I think everyone needs space and time to talk - please see your gp as well as contacting bereavement counselling - even if it doesn't feel like it's solving anything, you might look back and realise it's done you some good. Take care xx

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