Whilst the death of a loved family member or close friend is something that all adults will experience at some time or other, bereavement affects everyone in different ways. Whatever the circumstances surrounding the death, simply recognising the loss can be difficult for many people. Others exhibit a range of adverse reactions that for many extend from anger and frustration to feelings of hopelessness and depression. In addition bereavement frequently presents a range of issues arising from the relationship that existed between the departed and the surviving party, amongst the most common being guilt. It is not unusual for these issues to emerge long after the initial trauma of the death.
Children who become bereaved will experience similar feelings but because they, and their peers, may not understand the true nature of death they may become confused or try to isolate themselves from family and friends. This can lead to behavioural difficulties if the child is not supported sensitively.
Where the death, for whatever reason, is considered to have been premature, the reactions of the bereaved person can be more extreme and the focus of their loss to the exclusion of all else can also lead to the deterioration in their general health.
Counselling aids the grieving process by encouraging the bereaved person to articulate their memories and feelings and can be one of several important care therapies that allow them to come to terms with their loss and to return, as far as possible and practical, to an active social and economic life.