Loss and Bereavement


losing a loved one

At some point in life, we are all touched by death. Be that the death of a family member, a friend or a beloved pet. Dealing with grief is deeply painful. As a bereavement counsellor, working with people who have experienced the death of a loved one is a privilege. I have seen many people heal and grow as they learn to live with their loss.    

“Men who have lost a child.”

Bereaved fathers are often forgotten, and are constantly asked ‘How is your wife doing?’  Fathers often put off their own grieving , sometimes for years, until they know that their partner is coping better. Fathers can be misunderstood as ‘not caring’ because they have had to hide their grief.  Dr. John Wilson.

Grief is Something you Learn to Live With

Grief is not something you will one day conquer. It is a balance of holding on and letting go. Grief walks beside you every day . If you can learn to manage the weight of that pain, and honour your loved one, then you have reached a deep understanding of love.   


Loss comes in many forms

Divorce, separation, loss of health, redundancy, loss of a job, losing your home or homeland are all forms of loss. Losing a pet can be like losing a member of the family. 

How Therapy Can Help

Going through a bereavement is a distressing time. However, it is a normal reaction to losing a loved one. In around half of cases, people grieve normally. This means spending some time being tearful and other times distracting themselves by being busy. The tearful periods become less frequent over time.  Research suggests that having counseling too soon after your loss, or when you do not need it, can actually be harmful.  However, if people experience strong feelings of grief for an extended period of time, where it impacts everyday life, this could be complicated grief. Counselling can be helpful for people who stay numb or stuck in their distress. They may use substances or alcohol to numb the pain. Counselling provides empathy, patience, and encouragement to support the person grieving and to help them face the reality of their loved one’s death.

Information on this page is taken from John Wilson’s book on grief. The reference is below.

Supporting People . through Loss and Grief: An… by John Wilson (amazon.co.uk)  


Any questions?

Please email me at pauline_straw@hotmail.com