Category Archives: Grief Counseling

What Is Complicated Grief? Grief Counseling In Michigan

complicated grief

The loss of a loved one is difficult to handle, but most people ease out of grief over time. The pain becomes more bearable with each passing month, and symptoms of become less severe. However, some people go through a prolonged period known as complicated grief. In this case, the feeling of grief does not subside and can last for years without treatment.

Here we will explain what complicated grief is and how grief counseling could help you through this process.

What Classifies As “Complicated Grief”?

Complicated grief typically describes any grief lasting longer than a year. There are exceptions to this, but most people will see some relief in their grief symptoms after a year has passed. A person with complicated grief may feel isolated from the rest of the world, struggling to go through daily routines or complete simple tasks.

Symptoms Of Complicated Grief

Complicated grief symptoms are similar to traditional grief symptoms, but they may last longer or become more intense. With complicated grief, you may feel:

  • Difficulty focusing on anything but the loss of your loved one
  • Difficulty trusting others or opening up about your feelings
  • Intense focus on your loved one’s belongings, pictures, videos, memories, life and death
  • Ongoing pain and sorrow
  • Trouble enjoying positive events
  • Inability to socialize
  • Bitterness and defensiveness about your loss

Simply put, complicated grief may cause you to hyper-focus on your loss, preventing you from moving forward with your life. Grief counseling can help you find a balance between mourning and enjoying the time you still have left to live, all in honor of your loved one.

People Most At Risk Of Complicated Grief

Anyone can experience complicated grief, but it is more common for people who lose a close relative, such as a spouse, child, or close-in-age sibling. Complicated grief may also occur if the person’s death was the result of suicide or sudden trauma. If the loved one was ill for a long time, the person in mourning will have more time to process the possibility of death, thus making the grieving process easier. People who experience multiple losses at the same time are more at risk of complicated grief because their minds do not have a break to process each loss individually.

Getting Help Through Complicated Grief Counseling

Grief counseling can help you overcome the symptoms of complicated grief and live a fuller life. Your counselor will give you tools and techniques to process your loss and pull yourself out of isolation. Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers provide specialized grief counseling in Michigan. One of our compassionate counselors would be happy to work with you.

Understanding Grief in Children Part 2

Understanding Grief in Children

Read Part 1

Young children under the age of 12 run on their emotions. They are concrete in their thinking and their little egocentric minds don’t allow them to grasp the abstract. Death is an abstract concept. How does a young child express their grief?

FEAR – For children, fear is a basic emotion following a death. Who will take care of me? Will we die too? What if my parent dies? These all only of few of the fear based questions a child may ask. However, fear can present itself in others ways as well. Some children will have behavioral regressions when afraid. Some children who were formerly underachievers become over achievers and vice versa, as a response to fear. Still others may display withdrawn behaviors also based in fear. Children need reassurance and tending to when fear arises.

GUILT – Guilt in children is common due to their egocentric thinking. However, when a death occurs a child may need reminding that their guilt is unrealistic. In an effort to take care of our children we may shield them from information they may need in order to release them from their irrational guilt. Children are sensitive to an adult’s emotions. So when an adult is tense or sad, a young child may take responsibility for these feelings. Children need reassurance and attentiveness when guilt arises.

ANGER – An angry child can be a difficult one, yet anger and grief go hand in hand. A child may be angry at themselves for behavior they’ve displayed towards the deceased. Children may be angry that the person is no longer in their life. Anger can also be displayed as power to compensate for fear. Children need reassurance and tending to when anger arises.

SORROW – Children feel sorrow just as an adult would when grieving. Sorrow is an expression of woundedness the child may feel after a loss. Lending comfort through touch, patience and companionship assists the child in feeling safe which is seen as the antidote to sorrow. If you or someone you know would benefit from grief counseling, call Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers at 248-244-8644.

By Patricia Mroch, MA, LPC, NCC

Understanding Grief in Children Part 1

Understanding Grief in Children

Before we can talk to our children about grief, we have to understand our own feelings about grief. As adults, we must be comfortable in our own understanding and beliefs about death so that we can communicate effectively and provide our children with the reassurance they deserve.

Help prepare yourself for talking to children about grief by exploring your own feelings about loss. Bad things do happen to good people. How do I make sense of this? The world is an unpredictable place for all of us. How can I explain the randomness of life to my children? How do I explain that God’s promise to us isn’t one of a perfect life, but instead His promise is of companionship through life?

Become an expert on your own feelings of grief. It’s important to talk to your children about death. Parents who don’t take the time to talk about the important subject of death with their children, allow their children to mistakenly fill in the blanks with erroneous information. Also, these parents are conveying the subtle message that death and subsequent grief are subjects that aren’t discussed. These children may learn to suppress their emotions, leading to lifelong emotional difficulties.

Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers offers grief and loss counseling for adults, adolescents and children. Call us at 248-244-8644 to schedule your first appointment. 

We are born with the ability to grieve. Surprising to some, but long known by researchers, infants display grief from their very first moments of life. If a primary caretaker, typically a parent, is removed from the infant’s life—the infant will show signs of grief. These signs present themselves as agitation, sleep disturbances and appetite disturbances.

As children begin to grow, a young child may not respond to news that a death has occurred. During this concrete stage of development (up to age 12) the concept of death is based on the child’s five senses. An individual is gone and then an individual is here. If an individual is gone and continues to be gone a young child may grieve the smell, touch or sound of the person. The young child may grieve each time one of these senses formerly provided for by the missing individual is deprived from them.

Being in a concrete stage of development, young children (up to age 12) tend to generalize from the specific to the general. For example, if an individual died in their sleep, a young child may believe that they themselves will also die when they go to sleep. Therefore, adults play an important part in the young child’s understanding of grief. Helping children to feel more comfortable in the midst of grief can be the most rewarding job we have as adults.

Answer children’s questions about death concretely. Honest and simple answers are the most effective approaches. Avoid euphemisms, e.g. “went to sleep”, and avoid too much detail. Children will ask what they want to know. Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers have specialists that work with children who suffer from grief and loss due to death, divorce and trauma.

By Patricia Mroch, MA, LPC, NCC

Read Part 2

Call us. You Need Not Walk Alone (248) 244-8644

Grief Counseling Tips For Young Widows In Michigan

widow

No woman expects to lose her spouse in her 20’s or 30’s. That’s just too young to fall into the “widow” category. Nevertheless, this is a struggle that many women face in Michigan when their husbands pass unexpectedly. If you are a young widow trying to adjust to your new life, the tips below will help you through the grieving process.

There Is No Wrong Way To Grieve

You’re young which means that other people will consistently try to give you advice on how to grieve. “You should be doing this. He would have wanted you to do that.” That advice is valuable, but so are your natural instincts. The grieving process is different for every person, and you may experience a slew of emotions in a short period of time. Trust your gut and figure out which coping mechanism works best for your personality and lifestyle.

Working with a grief counselor could help you understand your thoughts, feelings and emotions. He or she will also identify your grief triggers as they arise so you can conquer or avoid them. At Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we offer specialized grief counselor programs for widows and widowers. Contact our office to schedule a confidential appointment with a compassionate grief counselor near you.

Put Your Finances Into Perspective

Financial stress is one of the biggest obstacles widows face. This is especially true if your late husband was the primary breadwinner for the household. It’s important to put your finances into perspective to reduce your stress as much as possible. Know what your bills are, when they are due, and what you can or cannot afford. If you have money leftover from a life insurance policy, you may use that to pay major bills while you get on your feet. You can work with a financial advisor to figure out the best plan for your situation.

Immerse Yourself In Your Support System

Having friends and family around will make a world of difference as you grieve and rebuild. It’s nice to have time to yourself, but it’s also nice to have someone to talk to when you need it most. Whether you’re sad, angry, or looking back on a positive memory, you will enjoy having someone there to listen to you.

Some widows move in with their parents or siblings after their spouses pass. This living arrangement may not last long, but it’s a good place to start. At the very least, living with someone else may help you save money, which will reduce your stress as a whole.

Accept Help When You Need It

Some women go into self-preservation mode when their husbands pass away. They feel the need to handle everything on their own because that’s the only way they can take control of their lives. Don’t be afraid to accept help when you need it. This does not make you weak or vulnerable. It shows that you want to put your best foot forward. Something as simple as free babysitting while you search for jobs can make a big difference in the success of your transition.

Start Dating Only When You’re Ready

As part of the advice you receive, you may be told to “get out there and meet someone new.” Only you can decide when the right time is to start dating. Some widows begin dating within a few months of their husband’s passing because they want to feel that companionship again. Others spend years working on themselves before they feel comfortable enough to date. Don’t feel pressured to get into a new relationship right away. You will know when you’re ready

Dealing With Unexpected Grief Triggers: MI Grief Counseling

grief triggers

Grief is not a cookie-cutter process. Every person experiences a different range of emotions as they mourn the loss of a loved one. A professional grief counselor can guide you through these emotional obstacles, but some may come up unexpectedly. A song you hear on the radio or an outfit you see in a store could bring back memories you forgot you had. The tips below will help you handle unexpected grief triggers in your life.

Identify The Specific Trigger

If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with sadness at an unexpected time, try to pinpoint what is triggering the grief. For example, let’s say you’re watching a show and one of the characters is in the hospital. The sounds and imagery from that scene may remind you of times you spent with your loved one in ICU. If you identify what is causing you to grieve, you will have an easier time avoiding or dealing with those triggers when they come up again in the future.

Find A Place to Reflect In Private

If you are in a public setting, find some place quiet and private to process your emotions. Excuse yourself to the restroom, go to your car, step into an empty room – do whatever it takes to give yourself a chance to mourn. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to pray, pray. If you need to talk to someone, pick up your phone and give that person a call. Even if you only get a five minute break, you can get a chance to regroup and move forward with your day.

Take Time To Sort Through Your Loved One’s Belongings

Many unexpected grief triggers happen while sorting through a loved one’s belongings. A shirt in the back of a drawer may bring back memories of special moments together. Give yourself plenty of time to sort through a person’s belongings because each item has the potential to be a stress trigger. You may only get through one box a week, but that will give you time to heal in between emotional episodes.

Talk About Your Experience

After you encounter an unexpected grief trigger, talk to someone about why you felt the way you did and the steps you took to overcome your emotions. This could be a friend, a family member, or a professional grief counselor. Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan has several specialized grief counselors on hand who would be happy to work with you. As you discuss your experience, you will gain a better understanding of why you felt that way and what you can do to make the trigger less powerful in the future.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Grief Triggers

The grieving process is emotional, stressful, and overwhelming at times, but that does not mean you should avoid it entirely. Just because something makes you feel sad or upset doesn’t mean you should avoid it for good. The goal is to get to a point where the positive memories outweigh the negative ones, and the only way you can do that is by facing your fear – gradually. Work with your grief counselor to condition your mind and your body when you encounter your grief trigger, and you won’t feel the same flood of emotions the next time you’re in that situation.

For more information about how to handle grief triggers, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to set up an appointment with a grief counselor in Michigan.

Embedded Losses

Embedded Losses

Embedded losses are losses which are ancillary or secondary to the main loss. For example, when a spouse dies, the death is the main loss that most people focus upon. The secondary losses are those such as: the loss of a breadwinner, the loss of someone who helped you raise your children, the possible financial hardship, the loss of someone who remembers when your son or daughter lost their first tooth, the loss of someone who was with you in the delivery room, the loss of the person who maintained the house or did the cooking and many others. These are all embedded in the loss of the spouse and are secondary losses which are often overlooked in the grief from the primary loss.

Embedded losses are also inherent in other life events besides death. For example: the loss of a home through fire, sale or bankruptcy; the loss of a job through retirement, lay-off, or a move; the death of a beloved pet are all losses which likely have embedded losses attached to them.

Sometimes, it is the secondary losses that are the most acute and painful. The loss of a person who witnessed your history, who understands what significant things in life happened to you, to make you who you are, is sometimes much greater than just simply knowing they will no longer be with you to witness future events. In this instance, a person may be grieving multiple things at the same time. In other words, they are grieving the primary loss and the accompanying secondary losses. Professionals, family, and friends who wish to be helpful may want to consider the following things when thinking about the embedded losses.

  • First, recognize the existence of these losses. Don’t assume you know what they are. When the timing is right, check in with the person and ask them about the depth of the loss. Most people will readily talk about loss and will reveal to you in those conversations the extent and depth of that loss. It is here you will likely learn about the secondary and embedded losses.
  • Second, recognize that while you usually can do nothing to restore the primary loss, you may be able to assist with an embedded loss. If the loss is a move to a new house where the person left a beloved garden, perhaps helping them plot a new garden or bringing them a plant for their new deck can help. Of course, it is important to take your cues from the person and move at their speed. It is also important to understand that restoring and replacing are not the goal. Rather, refocusing on the future while honoring the past is the goal.
  • Finally, understand that timing is everything. Depending upon the depth of the loss, it may take months or even years before the secondary losses come to light. Being a good listener is an asset to cultivate. Sometimes simply asking if there is a practical way you can help is the best service you can do for someone working through embedded loss.

At Perspectives, we believe that you need not walk alone. This is especially true during the grieving process. We are here to help and support you and your loved ones during this difficult time. Call us at 248-244-8644 to make an appointment with a confidential, caring therapist.

by Chris LePage

Michigan Grief Counseling: Mourning The Death Of A Child

mourning death child

The death of a child is a traumatic event for a parent, no matter how old the child may be or what the circumstances are surrounding the death. Whether you are dealing with the loss of an adult child or you have recently suffered a miscarriage, there are techniques you can use to progress through the grieving process. This guide provides some tips for mourning the loss of a child so you can get through this difficult situation.

Work With A Professional Grief Counselor

Grief counseling gives you a platform to share your emotions, thoughts, and feelings with a caring and unbiased person. You can join a support group or speak with a professional counselor in private sessions. At Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we have several grief counselors who specialize in mourning the death of a child. Your counselor can help you understand feelings of anger, regret, sorrow, hopelessness, and everything else that comes with the stages of grief. Together, you will find ways to cope with your depression and move forward with the next chapter of your life.

Understand That There Is No “Normal” Way To Grieve

During the grieving process, you may have people tell you how to feel, how not to feel, when to feel, when not to feel, etc. There is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to grief. The relationship you had with your child and the way you feel because of the loss is completely independent of anyone else’s experiences. You may find comfort in hearing other people’s stories, but at the end of the day, you will grieve in the way that is best for your mind and body. If people are critical of that to the point that they are making you feel even worse than you already do, separate yourself from those individuals and focus on friends and family members who support you.

You DO Have A Purpose – You WILL Have A Future

Perhaps the hardest part of mourning the loss of a child is finding a new purpose in life. Many parents believe that raising their children is in fact their true purpose in life. You may not be able to fulfill that role anymore, but you can still have a future. Continue to live in a way that your child would have looked up to, or educate people about the circumstances that led to your child’s passing (addiction, drunk driving, etc.). Build a strong support system of people that make you feel wanted, needed, and loved. Your child’s memories will live on in your actions.

Our grief counselors in Michigan are here to help. Call (248) 244-8644 to speak with one of our caring staff members.

Michigan Grief Counseling: Coping Tips For Grieving Spouses – Part 2

grieving spouses

Continued from Part 1

Get As Much Rest As Possible

Sleeping at night may be a struggle for a while. Combined with the passing stress of each day, you may find yourself feeling fatigued and drained. Try to get as much rest as possible to give your body, mind, and spirit time to heal. Solid, consistent sleep at night will give you the best chance at sorting through your thoughts throughout the day.

Lighten Your Schedule

You may not be able to do as much right away as you’re used to doing. Simple tasks around the house or at work may feel overwhelming, especially if you are fatigued. Lighten your schedule and reduce your responsibilities where possible. Talk to your employer about taking personal time off to grieve and heal. Don’t worry about meticulous household chores. Just focus on your mind. In time, you will be able to get back to your normal activities.

Take Time To Sort Through Your Spouse’s Belongings

Do not feel pressured to go through your spouse’s personal belongings right away. This is something you can do at your own pace in your own time. If it makes you feel better to go through things and reflect on good memories, do so as part of your therapy. If it makes you feel overwhelmed with emotion, you may need more time to heal before you can sort and organize. You will regain your energy and you will have the strength to get through this. Trust in your instincts and the details will take care of themselves.

Talk About Your Feelings, Even If You Don’t Understand Them

In the first part of our discussion, we talked about the range of emotions you may experience during the grieving process. Some of these, like anger and regret, may seem unexpected or “wrong” but they are completely normal. Talk to your grief counselor and members of your support system about the different emotions you are facing. This will help you process your thoughts and discover the root causes of your feelings. Your grief counselor in Michigan can help you understand these thoughts and find healthy ways to get through them.

Take Comfort In Faith

If you follow a certain religion, you may find comfort in your faith. Here at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers, we offer Christian grief counseling to help people heal with the Word of God. You may feel angry at God for taking your spouse. Once again, this is normal. By expressing your grief and exploring your emotions, you can reach a place of spiritual healing and happiness.

To learn more about our grief counseling services in Metro Detroit, MI, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers at (248) 244-8644.

 

Michigan Grief Counseling: Coping Tips For Grieving Spouses – Part 1

grieving spouses

The death of a spouse is never easy. This unique form of grieving comes with its own set of obstacles, from re-budgeting your finances to learning to live on your own. Here at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Metro Detroit, MI, we have several grief counselors and therapists who specialize in spouse loss. Our professionals can help you understand your feelings, manage your emotions, and get through each stage of grief.

Listed below are some coping tips for grieving spouses that you can use in this difficult time.

Don’t Be Afraid To Mourn

You may feel the need to “stay strong” as a way to honor your late husband or wife. While there is merit in maintaining your composure, it’s also important to let yourself mourn. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed by sadness, anger, remorse, regret, and a slew of other emotions. Give yourself a chance to experience each of those emotions so you can move forward and your mind can fully process what has happened. If you have to put on a strong face for your children or other family members, find time to grieve privately and mourn however you need to.

Don’t Compare Your Grief To Someone Else’s

You may find yourself questioning your emotions and reactions because you aren’t grieving like someone else. Grieving is an individual process, varying greatly from one person to the next. You also have to keep in mind that no one else had a relationship with your spouse like you did. You’re not the mother or the sister or the best friend – you’re the husband or wife. Your situation is different than everyone else’s, and so are the experiences that follow. There is no right and wrong way to grieve. You must find what comforts you the most and work your way through your individual challenges.

Build A Strong Support System

Having a support system is one of the best ways to get through a troubling time in life. Friends, co-workers, family members and counselors can all provide support for you after the loss of a spouse. These are people you can call upon to talk about fond memories, vent about stress, share your mourning, and openly express your feelings. We have a number of professional grief counselors at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers who would love to work with you.

When building your support system, it’s important to avoid people who are critical of you and the way you grieve. People will say you’re too sad, not sad enough, not sad in the right way, etc. That’s not the support you need. You can express yourself in whatever way feels right to you, and your true support system will stand by your side.

Continue to Part 2

The Stages Of Grief

stages of grief

Losing a loved one is never easy, no matter how close you may have been to the person. Whether you’re coping with the loss of a spouse, a friend, a family member, or someone else in your life, you are going to experience the classic stages of grief. By knowing what to expect with each of these stages, you can navigate your way through grief recovery and improve the quality of your mental health moving forward.

NOTE: Everyone Grieves Differently

Before you read about the stages of grief, it is important to note that every person processes grief differently. You may go through the stages in a different order, or you may skip over a stage entirely. This guide simply illustrates the most common experiences people go through when coping with the loss of a loved one so you may understand your feelings a little better along the way.

Stage One – Denial And Disbelief

The first stage of grief may happen before your loved one passes away. You may experience shock and disbelief at the severity of the situation, or you may deny your feelings altogether. It is common to feel “numb” when you first get the news that someone you love has passed or is on the verge of passing, especially if the death was sudden and unexpected.

Common Feelings And Reactions:

  • Distraction And An Inability To Focus
  • Gaps In Short Term Memory, Like What You Had To Eat Earlier Or What You Did Yesterday
  • Self-Alienation And Withdrawal, Both Mentally And Physically
  • Confusion And Disorientation
  • Feeling Spaced Out, Like Your Mind Cannot Process Common Day To Day Activities

This stage of grief may last for a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months before you are able to fully come to terms with what has happened. The numbness that you feel is designed to prevent you from having a complete meltdown in the midst of the shock, so feel free to let it run its course. Do not use this as an excuse to bottle your emotions though. Talk to other people about how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way while you look back on pleasant moments with your loved one. This may be a good time to seek help from a grief counselor to guide you through the recovery process and learn ways to cope with the emotions you’re experiencing.

Stage Two – Pain And Self-Blame

The second stage of grief is often the hardest to get through. This is when the emotions that have been building up in stage one come to the surface, flooding your mind with thoughts of guilt, depression, emptiness, and much more. At this point, you may begin to question why your loved one died and what role you played in his or her death. For many people, this leads to self-blame, regardless of how much their efforts actually impacted the passing of the deceased.

Common Feelings And Reactions:

  • Overwhelming Moments Of Sadness Or Crying That You Cannot Control
  • Exhaustion And Fatigue, Even After Hours Of Heavy Sleep
  • Restlessness Or An Inability To Fall Asleep
  • Self-Deprivation And Self-Blame
  • Obsessive Thoughts About Your Lost Loved One, Especially The Events Leading To His Or Her Passing
  • Guilty Feelings About Being Alive, Moving Forward, Or Not Doing Enough To Prevent The Person’s Death
  • Mood Swings That Happen Without Warning

If you have not sought the help of a grief counselor yet, this would be a great time to start. Working with a professional grief therapist will help you get your emotions out and learn how to process all of the feelings you are being hit with. In general, you must stop blaming yourself for the loss of your loved one and understand that it’s okay to move forward. You will never forget a special person in your life, even if you get happy with someone else in the future. Control the thoughts that keep you up late at night and stop feeling guilty about how the situation played out. This will take time to do, but once you are able to heal your mind and your spirit, you can start to enjoy life like your loved one would want you to do.

Stage Three – Anger And Bitterness

The third stage of grief often happens before or during the second stage of guilt. The mood swings from stage two may cause you to go from being happy to being extremely sad to being overwhelmingly angry within a short period of time. Stage three is what many may refer to as the “self-pity” phase, where you find yourself asking questions like “Why me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” Something as simple as a song on the radio or a glimpse at someone who looks like the deceased may cause you to turn enraged or hostile without warning.

Common Feelings And Reactions:

  • Irritability, Particularly When People Around You Complain About Minimal Problems In Their Lives
  • Frustration, Anger, And Resentment
  • Self-Preservation That Causes You To Lose Trust In Others Or Pull Yourself Away From Social Settings
  • Negative Responses To Someone’s Sincere Sympathy
  • Avoidance Of Happy, Celebratory Events

This stage requires a unique form of anger management because the root cause of the anger is grief, not rage. Let other people know what you are going through and explain to them why you are not in the best of spirits. Your friends and family members will forgive you and they will understand your actions better if they are aware of your mindset.

Avoid interacting with people who spark your anger. This may not necessarily be people who are angry or combative themselves. In fact, it may be the people who are the most pleasant to talk to and be around. If their presence makes you more upset, it would be best for both of you to stay away from each other until you are able to get better control over your feelings.

Remember to give yourself some compassion. It is normal to want to help others through their grief recovery, but you also need to show some sympathy to yourself for what you are going through. What you are feeling is completely natural, so you should not punish yourself mentally or emotionally for feeling angry or frustrated. Show compassion to yourself and you will soon be able to take control of your emotions.

Stage Four – Acceptance And Progression

Despite all of the mood swings that come with the stages of grief, there eventually comes a point where your feelings balance themselves out and you are able to accept your life the way it is now. Yes, you have gone through a huge emotional undertaking, and yes, your new life will never be the same as it was before. Nevertheless, you can now come to terms with where your life is and where it is heading so you can move forward to a brighter future.

Common Feelings And Emotions

  • Higher Frequencies Of Positive Moments, Laughter, And Joy
  • Reconnection With Loved Ones You May Have Pushed Away Before
  • Mental Clarity And Awareness
  • Determination, Knowing That You Can And Will Get Through This
  • Feeling Like Yourself Again

Whether you reach this stage on your own or through the help of grief counseling, embrace this new milestone in your life. Find new ways to make yourself feel happy, needed, and loved. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you, and remind yourself that you deserve to feel joy once again. Continue to work with a counselor to keep your spirits up, and you will make it through the grief process in triumph.