The Death of a Loved One

I recently experienced the death of my mother in June 2016 and would like to share some of my thoughts and feelings about living with the loss of a significant person in your life.

For me there was the shock and struggle with accepting that she had died and then I intentionally blocked the hurt and sadness that I knew I would have to deal with in my own time. I also couldn’t get my head around not seeing my mum again, not talking to her gain or touching her again.

I then immediately started to feel guilty for not spending more time with her and wishing I had taken her away on holiday more often or even day trips. I accepted that I had been selfish with my time which made me angry with myself.

There were also times when I couldn’t understand where my mum was now, which meant I was questioning my lack of faith in believing that she was in in heaven. I want to believe that she is now in a good place with God but I’m really struggling to fully commit this belief.

As a counsellor I understand that feeling guilty, angry and lacking any faith is my own stuff and I need to further explore this and nobody can do this but myself. Talking about his will hopefully help me do this.

I do know that the love I feel for my mum is still strong and has grown even stronger as I appreciate how much she loved me and how much she was loved by others.

Every client who has experienced a loss in their life will process their feelings differently and at a different pace and may not go through the normal stages of grief. I did experience denial and anger but also periods of depression, which comes and goes and I’ve accepted that this will happen.

Will I and do clients ever get over the loss of a significant person in their life?

I’m still processing my loss but it’s worth considering, especially if your client has experienced a loss that you try not to fix things but that you hold your client with their sadness and pain in that moment.

What I have done which is quite significant for me, as I don’t normally write down my feelings other than when I was in counsellor training mode is write my thoughts and feelings down. I did this recently when I couldn’t sleep and ended up writing about a “Mum’s Love” in a form of a poem.

A counsellor recently suggested that I use a memory box where I place items inside it like a photo or something I have written about her so that I can open the box whenever I feel sad or I miss her.

Reading out my poem to my wife was really hard and quite emotional but I’m glad I did it and I will share it with you at the end of this article.

As a counsellor it’s worth noting that your client may well want to talk about the happy times with their loved one and also some of the regrets they may still have. What would they want to say to this person if they saw them one more time?

Also, how much love this person shared with others and was loved by others can be a great feeling of comfort and pride at such a sad time for them. This can help your client accept that their loved one’s life had touched so many people.

The time a client has spent with their loved one can also be a comfort, as I did in 2015 when I moved back home for 6 months and now I realise how special that time was with my mum.

As we all know as counsellors and also when we are clients that the hardest part of dealing with our issues is acceptance, so that we can try and move forward with our lives.

For me, the hardest part of grief is the finality. There is nothing you can change and it’s the end and that’s really hard to accept!

A Mum’s Love

You’re unique, you’re inspiring, you’re wonderful, and you’re awesome.

You are like a rock, strong and constant always there to pick up the shattered pieces of life’s troubles.

You always think of others Mum! Always!

Your love is strong, deep and gentle but firm when needed.

I think of you as the deepest ocean that takes care of the creatures that thrive in it.

You will always love and be loved because you share love and you leave a warm feeling behind you.

You are amazing!

How do you do it Mum?

You are the tallest mountain that looks over us and takes care of us. You never stop being a Mum.

How do you do it Mum?

You are loved by so many!

Take care of yourself Mum!

You give so much Mum!

Who is your Rock Mum?

I wish I could be your Rock!

Tell her today you love and care for her!

Tomorrow may never come!

Love you Mum