Loss needs support. Aftercare counseling provides the space you need to recover and heal at your own pace.
According to Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy by William Worden, there are four distinct tasks of mourning.
One of the tasks espoused by Worden is the acceptance of the reality of loss. Depending on the nature of the relationship, this is certainly not the easiest thing to do. Even when a death is anticipated as the result of a lengthy illness, the realization of the finality of that loss can be devastating--for years.
A sudden, unexpected death can be so catastrophic that a lifetime of counseling may not ease the pain. This is called "complicated grief."
Just like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's Five Stages of Grief Model explained, there is no set order as to how each stage shows up, Worden's Four Tasks of Mourning acknowledges the same unpredictability.
The next task is to work through the pain of grief.
Purge. Emotions show up in many different ways: sadness, fear, feelings of abandonment, despondency, hopelessness, anger, guilt, shame, blame, rom sadness, fear, loneliness, despair, hopelessness, and anger to guilt, blame, shame, relief, and so many other difficult feelings.
Candid conversations about one's feelings can certainly help one understand the complexity of the emotions that arise. Overcoming the discomfort that often accompany grief, helps the griever in the acknowledgement of very natural responses to loss.
By accepting that the physical and spiritual environment has changed, the mourner can readjust. This transformation happens over an extended period of time and requires a renewed mindset.
A son may reminisce about how he enjoyed time with his father on a particular day of the week. A wife may reflect on how delicious her husband's signature holiday dish was as she prepares it in his memory. A daughter may miss "mother-daughter" spa days.
Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries are certainly the most difficult of times.
Last, but, not least, being able to redefine one's life in the wake of personal tragedy is tantamount to the restoration of inner happiness. Moving on does not disrespect the memory of one's loved one. It merely becomes the first sentence in a new chapter of your life. The simplest demonstration of love, specifically self-love, can make all the difference in the healing process.
Memorial house plants are a way to exercise a nurturing spirit towards inevitable, ongoing therapy. Self-care can include secluded, meditative tea time. Ashwaganda and mugwort teas are quite effective. A walk in the local botanic garden or museum, or a new, creative or social activity can also lift one's spirits when a simple distraction is all that is needed.
Don't hesitate to communicate your feelings to someone who genuinely understands your sensitivities and emotional needs.