“‘No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
– C.S. Lewis
When someone close to us dies, we may feel like strangers in the world. All that is known and familiar is taken away and we have to find a new way of being.
But before this happens, we must face the grief and loneliness of life without the one we loved. It is a bewildering and painful time, made more so by the fact that everything around us continues unaffected.
We must face the tide of grief that rises and falls in us.
This can be a frightening experience as we lose our bearings. We may feel overwhelmed and unable to let the force of grief do its work.
Children and young people who have experienced previous trauma may suffer even more deeply as the shock of loss confirms in them that life is uncertain and painful.
They may need particular care and support to establish a sense of hope and agency in their sorrow.
Koru therapists, specialising in bereavement, are able to come alongside the young person to support them through the process of grief.
They use a range of arts therapies to create structure and foster resilience, providing a safe place for the healing work of tears and the sharing of stories.
Therapists are also able to help process the complicated emotions that arise when the one who has died caused harm.
In some circumstances bereavement may be caused by separation from a loved one or the loss of home and country through the experience of being exiled as a refugee. Healing from these types of loss follow a similar path and also benefit from the empathetic presence of a skilled therapist.
Whatever the cause of profound loss in our lives, it is the witness, empathy and presence of another that will help us to foster the beginnings of hope as we learn to live anew.