Why you need to feel your grief
Some clients are keen to have coaching following the death of a loved one because they want to ‘get rid’ of the many uncomfortable feelings and emotions they are experiencing. They are surprised when part of the coaching process is for them to make temporary friends with their grief.
Even though it is inevitable that we will encounter loss during our life, very few of us have been prepared for how it might affect us or how to deal with it. Added to this, talking about death and the resulting loss is almost taboo in our Western society. Gone are the days when wearing black for a significant amount of time was accepted as a symbolic outward display of someone’s internal grief. Society today is fast-paced and it’s almost as though people are expected to deal with their grief and get on with life as quickly as possible following bereavement.
One of my clients came to see me a month after the death of her father. She said she didn’t know how she felt anymore and at times she felt she was going crazy, her emotions were in such turmoil. She also told me that someone close to her had recently asked if she was ‘over it’ yet. She was initially shocked by the question and then had started to feel guilty that she was still feeling so bad. By the time she arrived for our first coaching session, she had decided that she needed to ‘get rid’ of her grief and start living her life again. Indeed she was now hiding her grief from her friends and colleagues, trying to carry on as normal. But what is normal following the loss of a loved one?
Working through your loss is a necessary journey which will help you recover and discover what your new normal is. It is impossible to say how long your grief will take to work through. It will take as long as it takes. Grief coaching provides clients with a safe place to express everything that they are feeling about their loss, without censure. A grief coach will not pass judgement on how you feel or tell you that you should be ‘over it by now’. This particular client spent a lot of time telling me the story of her father, what he meant to her, the many happy memories she had of him. She shared the fact that since her father’s death she felt that she had lost herself too.
Although my client’s father had died she began to develop a new relationship with him through the memories she had of him, which couldn’t be taken from her and would last her lifetime. My client discovered a lot about herself during the coaching process and began to develop a new sense of purpose and identity.
Coaching following bereavement won’t provide a quick fix and it won’t ‘get rid’ of your grief. What it will do is to provide you with a huge opportunity for personal growth. The coach will support you through your journey to a place where you feel ready to discover your new normal.