Does Everyone Need Grief Counseling?

Dear Barbara, When my husband passed away I was rejecting any counseling. It felt so wrong and that feeling never changed even after almost 2 years. I and my daughter took care of my husband 24/7 together over 4 years. The three of us became very close therefore I think we truly do not wish to stop grieving or have someone to guide us to feel better. It feels he is still part of us and we talk about him every day. We are finally watching videos with him and it brings us certain comfort. Do you think that everyone should have counseling?

Where did we get the idea that to be healthy we have to have some kind of counseling?  And with regards to your question about "does everyone need counseling?" No, in fact I would guess that most people during their grieving process do not have counseling or need counseling.

Counseling is a support offering, a choice. Some personalities would never consider counseling. They would not be comfortable sharing their personal thoughts and life with someone else no matter how professional. 

Other people will welcome the guidance. Will welcome the knowledge that their thoughts and feelings are normal as they are reflected back to them by a group or a professional. 

Counseling can give extra support. It can affirm that, in spite of the pain you are feeling or the confusion, you are okay. Counseling can take away the illusion that you are alone. Counseling can give you “food for thought,” ideas that you might not have considered by yourself.

I don't think there is a right or wrong to a person seeking counseling and support for any of life’s skills just as I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to grieve. How we grieve will be like all else, as our personality dictates. How we express ourselves or don’t express ourselves emotionally will be how we grieve.

What we have to watch for is getting stuck in our grief, forgetting to let how well we move forward in living be the channel for our grief verses how many tears we cry or how sad we look and feel.

It sounds as if you have found your support system in each other. Grief doesn't go away. We learn how to live with it and it seems that is what you are doing.

Something More... about Does Everyone Need Grief Counseling?

My booklet, MY FRIEND, I CARE; The Grief Experience was written for those who have experienced the death of a loved one.  Death of a friend, a pet, a family member will initiate bereavement. This little booklet can be a huge support.  

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barbara karnes

Hi Bev, the labor to leave this world is often harder on us the watchers and the caretakers than it is on the person working to get out of their shell of a body. It appears this challenging experience had a gift of faith inside for you. The gift doesn’t make your grief any less though. You might write your husband a letter. Put all your thoughts, love, tears, what ever you want to tell him on paper. Then burn the paper and scatter the ashes to the wind. Know in your heart your message will be received. My blessings to you and your family. Barbara

Beverly Gholston

Thank you Barbara for your little books they have helped me so much it has been 9 months now since my husband passed away your books brought me so much comfort. me my son and daughter -in law set 24 seven with him after he had pancreatic cancer surgery he had feeding tubes intrivenious iv"s and every thing home health was good and came 3 times a week that helped us some in his last week he asked for hospice he called me and family over to his bed and said he was in the most peaceful place and it was so beautiful there and he was not in any pain I whispered in his ear that it was ok to stay there I was just so tired and didn’t want to see him suffer I had told him I had lost my faith and he told me do not give up on your faith I felt so bad after I said that cause he was the one suffering so bad and I think God gave him the offer to see what he did so he could give me back my faith I cried and asked him and God to forgive me well he didn’t stay he came back I asked him why he said I couldn’t leave my family yet he loved us all so much and we loved him we were married 51 years he was my everything but I know where he is he was a wonderful husband father and papa but most of all he was a faithful Christian he fought a good fight .I still love and miss him but i have so many good memories .sorry this is so long hope it is ok just thought you would like to know how much you have helped me. THANK YOU . BEV

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