What to Expect from Grief Counselling at C&C Resources for Life
From it’s foundation in May of 2011, C&C Resources for Life has been serving the people of Kamloops by offering Grief and Loss Support. We began by facilitating Celebration of Life services to help people honor the life of someone they dearly loved and who had died. We still offer that kind of support for families and believe that it is an important part of the process of mourning. However, we soon realized that many families were left alone to get on with their grief after the service was over. And even more in our current world, choose not to have any kind of formal memorial. In the early days of loss, the foggy, surreal feeling that swirls around the grieving family, cushions them; and frequently, they have family and friends coming and going, keeping their attention from focussing too much on the reality of their loss. But when the flurry of activity in organizing a suitable memorial and negotiating the list of things to do after a death is all done, that’s when the day by day realization of what life is going to look like without the person that they love really begins. It marks the beginning of an intensely painful journey.
At C&C Resources for Life we attribute much of our understanding of grief and loss to people like Doug Manning, author, lecturer and founder of the In-Sight Institute, who taught us how to facilitate Celebration of Life services; and to Dr. Alan Wolfelt, author, educator, grief counselor and founder of the Center for Loss and Life Transition, whose books and seminars have shaped our philosophy of grief counselling. These and other people who have devoted their lives to supporting people in grief, have taught us that grief is the normal human response to the life crisis of loss; not a pathology or an illness to recover from but a difficult, challenging experience which needs to be integrated into their lives and which will shape who they are from here on in. And there are no “stages” to grief, it is a process that can come in waves or cycles – at times intense and overwhelming, at other times quieter and less intrusive.
In truth it is the people who are grieving who have taught us the most about the nature of grief, because each person who experiences a loss is unique; and the only one who can tell us what their particular grief looks like is the person who is grieving. If you come to us for grief counselling, therefore, we won’t presume to tell you how you should mourn your loss, we will listen, observe and walk with you through the long journey that faces you after a loss. We do what Alan Wolfelt calls “Companioning the Bereaved.” Yes, we will share some information with you about what you might expect based on our years of accompanying people, but for the most part, we are here to normalize your experience with grief and to encourage you as you make the necessary adjustments to living with your loss. Wherever possible we will encourage you to become part of a support group led by a skilled facilitator. In the group setting you will encounter the kind of supportive people that you may be missing in your community, because grieving people can empathise with each other’s experience in a way that no one else can. Whether through individual counselling or in a support group, our goal is to see that you journey well through your grief and that you don’t get stuck anywhere along the way.
We also have counsellors who are specially trained in trauma therapy techniques who can help with some of the unique problems that can make grief more complex. Family dynamics after a loss can be complicated. Or perhaps you have some unresolved issues with the person who died. Or you have images or memories stuck in your mind that don’t seem to fade and that disturb your sleep or flash through your mind at unexpected times. Those kinds of things require special attention for which we are prepared to take the time to see you get the relief that you need.
Whatever your personal experience with grief is like, if you need support, you are welcome to connect with us. As Counsellors and Consultants, we want you to have the Resources for Life that will guide you through the challenges of loss.