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Shipwrecks and Stormy Seas

Guest Written by... 

 Catherine Collin, Clinical Psychologist & Director

Change often takes us by surprise, we are rarely ready for it. It is an unsettling reminder of the uncertainty of life. This week some of us, including me, will have been witness to the turmoil and despair arising from sudden and catastrophic change, a traumatic and untimely death.

Death is an inevitable turn of the wheel, yet with a sudden death, the emotions of grief and loss can be unimaginably painful. To speak of recovery from grief seems superficial, it is a hope rather than the reality actually observed. Those who have experienced tragic bereavement can describe their journey through the shipwreck of initial emotions, the sense of a gaping loss that can never be repaired, the tidal waves of emotion that wash over them that only after many months and years begin to subside into a less frequent daily swell.

So what can any of us do in the presence of such deeply sad yet inevitable life events? There is no magic bullet. A simple acceptance of death as part of life, a courage to face the full flame of grief in those directly affected, delivery of the small and daily acts of practical generosity that provide the scaffolding for those whose foundations have been uprooted. Providing listening and wise council, kindly dispatching the ‘Why me’, gently supporting a forward view, enabling the basket in which the grief is held to be enlarged.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same.” - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

For help with depression and anxiety, call Outlook South West on (02108) 871905 or self-refer [HERE

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