I was 25 years old when I lost both my parents and they died within a year of each other.
My initial feelings were numbness, shock and denial. It was as if my whole world had collapsed on me like a ton of bricks. It was as if I had the rug pulled from underneath myself.
My new reality
The toughest moments were the mornings, where as soon as I opened my eyes, the dreadful reality of my loss would suddenly take hold. My parents, my beloved parents, were no longer with me.
Then as the minutes ensued, feelings of grief started to overwhelm me and take me into many dark places. I would cry rivers of tears for days, weeks and months. It took me around two years of regular therapy to facilitate my recovery.
Totally lost in the world
It was as if I had become an orphan overnight. I was still lost in the world and I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life, let alone process the loss of my parents.
I felt helpless, tremendously isolated, deeply overwhelmed and lost in a wilderness of grief and despair. The ups and downs, the breakdowns and breakthroughs, the crushing depression and anxiety. It all played it’s part in my path to recovery.
Devastated and heartbroken
Essentially I was barely a young man and I had to grow up quickly, navigating my 20s and 30s without the nurturing love of my mum and dad. This created a massive gap in my life and a wound in my heart which would take many years to heal.
I was devastated, I was floored, I was broken, but I survived and here I am now and onwards I go on my journey through life.
When I look back on it, yes, time did heal and there was a grief process, but to be honest, I had to digest my loss first. I had to just sit with it, I had to just be with it. Only then in time, did my healing journey begin.
Losing a loved one
To truly empathise with someone who has lost a loved one, it is my opinion that you must experience it for yourself and it is only this way, that you can have a deep understanding of someone’s grief. With that understanding, comes the ability to guide that person.
When you lose someone, you experience emotions that you never thought possible and so begins a rollercoaster of ups and downs playing out over a course of time. The process of grief is not set in stone, but this is a fairly common roadmap:
- Shock and denial
- Raw emotional pain
- Digesting your loss
- Processing your loss
- Tears of grief
- Mood swings
- Mind tricks
- Memory triggers
- Healing the wound
- Coming to terms with
- Moving on
The most talked about grief process model is the “Kubler Ross” model. Created by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler Ross, her model suggests that those experiencing grief go through a series of five emotions: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Private counselling and coaching
Finding the right counsellor to help you process and navigate your grief can be truly beneficial. I can help you to work through those stages, where I will create a safe space for you to explore your grief and raw emotions. For private bereavement counselling and coaching, please Contact Me for a free 15 minute telephone/video call.