MENTAL HEALTH: It's okay to reach out for help.
MENTAL HEALTH: It's okay to reach out for help. Elaelah Harley

How to know if you need help processing your grief

WHEN it comes to feeling grief after loss, different people often experience it differently.

BeeCon Counselling's Deborah Stevens believes anyone can feel a sense of loss in their life, whether they have lost a job, relationship or loved one.

"The grief is the overwhelming feeling afterwards, and the mourning is the period of time that the grief takes place,” Ms Stevens said.

"That's where things can get a bit heavy, especially if it lasts for a long time.”

Ms Stevens said it was good to compare the time of mourning to how long a piece of string could be.

"We are going to have knots, tangles, loops and frays in our lives, because loss and grief are normal,” she said.

"Some people aren't aware as to why their grief is still affecting them, but it's normal to go on for a while, as we all process it differently.”

This grief can also be reoccurring, as anniversaries and times of the year can bring on memories of the loss you might have experienced.

There can also be vicarious grief, which Ms Stevens said could affect many different industry employees.

"A particular example is carers in aged care,” she said.

"Often when someone they cared for passes away, they have a vicarious sense of loss for that person, and often wonder why they affected them so much.

"Many times, those workers don't know how they can go back to work or walk by that person's room in the future.”

While experiencing grief is common, Ms Stevens said it shouldn't affect your ability to function.

"When it starts to disrupt your normal functioning in life, it starts to really become heavier rather than larger,” she said.

"If that feeling becomes your new normal, that's when you might need some help to process your grief.”

However, this doesn't mean people need to seek closure.

"I don't believe in closure, I think everyone just goes through waves,” she said.

"Instead of feeling like you've been hit by a tsunami, when you've processed your grief, they can become soft waves filled with memories, and they're often more happy or less intense.”

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