While grief can result from a variety of situations ranging from divorce and separation to traumatic injury or illness, probably the most difficult and heart-wrenching circumstance to deal with is the death of a child or spouse. Statistics also show that approximately thirty-six percent of the population is grieving now or has grieved in the past, for a son, daughter, brother, or sister. This type of grief is a profound and all too often, devastating experience for family members who are left behind.
If left unchecked, no matter the cause, all grief can quickly turn into deep depression and other serious psychological disorders. At this point, grief counseling becomes a very important part of the healing process.
The magnitude of this issue only becomes apparent however, when you also consider that only ten percent of grieving people, according to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), will ever seek professional help. Although the bereaved must ultimately come to terms and integrates their loss within their own life and purpose, the emotional understanding and support of a counselor or therapist provides an essential step toward making this inevitable process less painful.
There is no magical timeline that dictates how long you should grieve or when the pain will go away. Some cultures have varying customs meant to guide a person through the mourning period following the loss, but each person is different and you don’t know how you will react to a traumatic situation until it happens. Simply put, your grief lasts as long as it needs to last. In most cases, grief counseling with an effective therapist can lessen the length of time in mourning and dampen the intensity of the suffering.