“I can take the despair…it’s the hope I can’t stand,” says Paul Yin, working with MH370 passengers’ families
Loss is never easy, and few of us would profess it to be so. When we lose someone we love, through a bereavement, voluntary or enforced separation, or by any other means, we have to process the loss through grieving and mourning. It can take a long time to adjust to the different way of life – sometimes referred to as a ‘new normal’ – that eventually develops around the hole which has been left behind by the departure of someone special.
But when we lose someone unexpectedly or tragically, and when we are left with questions and uncertainty around what actually happened, why they died or whether a third party was at fault, grieving can become extra complicated. The ambiguity around the loss interferes with the natural grieving process, and we can find ourselves continuously wondering whether the lost person will return to us. We may swing dramatically between despair and hope, and it is common for those struggling to come to terms with loss to also experience strong feelings of anger. When there is no-one towards whom we can direct this anger it can start to feel as if it is consuming us, all of which Paul Yin has experienced in working with the family members of those onboard flight MH370. The cocktail of emotions that comes about in the wake of ambiguous loss often feels incredibly confusing, while the lack of closure that comes about as a result of continuing to look for answers can endure for many years after the event, as we saw in the case of the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, and the ensuing, relentless quest for answers.
If you are struggling to deal with ambiguous loss, find yourself continuously caught up in revolving thoughts around what really happened and what you could have done differently, or feel trapped in that seesaw of emotions swinging between despair, hope and an underlying sense of losing control, The Grove can help. Our counsellors and therapists are experienced in working with loss and grief, and understand the complications that arise when the bereaved are left in a space of not knowing what really happened, and not able to gain closure. We know that the emotions surrounding loss are never simple, and that it can take a very long time to work through the process of grieving, to the point where an individual feels able to start looking forward once more.
If you are struggling to come to terms with uncertain and ambiguous loss, let’s talk. Our counsellors at The Grove are ready to hear from you, and will offer you the time and space so necessary to support you in coming to terms with your loss. We can also talk through the process of grieving with you, and help you understand a little more about the complicated and unpredictable nature of the grieving process.
Some people who come for therapy in the wake of a loss feel better just for having the space to talk about how they are feeling, as well as their memories of their loved one, and having their experiences of grief validated. We can work open-endedly to support you more long term in your grief, or plan for a set number of sessions to help you through the difficulties you are experiencing at the moment. Contact The Grove today for your free 30-minute assessment and let’s talk first, to discuss what is going on for you and how we can be of help to you at the difficult time. If you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen.