Loss & Grief Counselling in Vaughan, ON
Find the happiness you once knew by understanding and processing the grief you’re feeling.
Heres’s how we
Don’t Let Your Grief or Loss Hold You Back from the Feelings You Once Knew
The suffering we feel from grief and loss isn’t something that we can always just push through. Understanding your emotional journey can help you through your recovery process.
With the right support, you can move past this crippling phase of your life.
This is what we can
Online & In-Person
Comprehensive care: Our offerings include Narcissistic Abuse Therapy, DBT, EFT, and Mindfulness care. Tailored treatment options for your holistic well-being and personalized growth.
Grief & Loss
We don’t “move on” from grief. We move forward with it. Grief does not happen in a vacuum, it happens alongside of and mixed in with a variety of emotions. Chapters in life – rather than leaving something behind – grief is part of your life and your experience and your future
“Grief is like one of those things – falling in love or having a baby – you don’t get it until you get it, until you do it”
You understand what you are experiencing and it’s not a moment in time, it’s not a bone that will reset, but you have been touched by something chronic. Something incurable. It’s not fatal, but sometimes grief feels like it could be. If we can’t prevent it, what can we do?
We can try to remind one another that some things can’t be fixed, and not all wounds are meant to heal. We NEED each other to remember, to HELP each other remember that grief is this multitasking emotion. You can and will be sad and happy; you’ll be grieving and able to love, in the same year or week, the same breath.
We need to remember that a grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again and even find love again. And yes, that means that they can move forward, but it doesn’t mean that they have moved on.
People say that time heals but I would argue that it doesn’t unless you allow yourself to work through your pain little by little. Now it’s clear that each person’s grief is unique. There isn’t a concrete set of steps you can do in order. There isn’t a time limit for mourning but there is a big difference between working through stuff and not working through stuff. People who process their grief allow themselves to face their pain, evening small doses.
They address their feelings. They may write about them or talk about them. They mourn. When someone doesn’t work through their pain, they try to distract themselves, they keep busy to desperately avoiding their pain. Which in the long run leads to more pain.
Loss: is not just a death. It can be any kind of change that includes being without someone or something. We have physical losses of tangible things like people and that can be a death, car a house, a breast. You can also have psychosocial losses like intangible things like divorce or your health, job.
You can also lose your hopes and dreams and the way you think things were supposed to be. You had envisioned your life going down this path and suddenly it took a sharp turn. That can be considered a loss. It’s a change.
We need to talk about losses that have happened, and we also talk about losses that can happen. Sometimes it’s helpful to help people start processing things that they know are coming, such as getting a divorce or if they know they’re getting ready to move – because you’re leaving everything. Your routine. You’re leaving a particular house, you’re leaving your friends, you’re leaving a job, the grocery stores you always shopped at. You have to relearn everything and it can be very exciting but there are also things that you may mourn over. And they can be traumatic or they can be just mildly nostalgic.
Bereavement: comes from the Latin root word “to have been robbed”. Experiencing the loss, you may feel you have been robbed of safety, security or something tangible.
Secondary losses: are the result of a primary loss. If a breadwinner dies or you divorce, you’re losing potential income when you’re not in a relationship anymore. Maybe that person was helping with the bills, maybe they were providing emotional support.
Grief: is the reaction or response to loss that includes physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual dimensions. It’s not just emotional. It changes how we think about things. It changes us. Every experience we go through changes us, and we can either let it change us for the better or we can let it defeat us.
Mourning: our rituals or behaviors associated with grief and courses of action in response to a loss. What do you do in mourning? There are certain things that some religions, some cultures, may prescribe for mourning. Especially after a death, but there are also other things that we all do. We have our own little rituals after we lose something, in order to try to make sense of the world again and come to acceptance with that loss.
Loss can stem from a loved one dying but it can also come from many more situations like a divorce or an expectation that doesn’t happen, a lifestyle change, like aging or a change in employment and so many more situations where you may experience strong emotions about losing something that you care about.
Let’s talk about how not dealing with your loss can lead to these seven signs:
- Compulsive behaviors: this can look like over or under eating excessive, spending addiction to distractions like endless Netflix binges and social media scrolling and of course substance abuse.
- Withdrawal from relationships. You might avoid people because you don’t want to be asked “how are you doing” or maybe you don’t want to be around people if you’re feeling down or you may cry. Whatever the reason, you start to pull away from people.
- Over functioning: Some people avoid their grief by pretending that everything is fine, or they immerse themselves in work, just keeping themselves busy to distract themselves. If you have two children whose parent dies and one of them is tearful, emotional, and struggling in school and the other one seems fine. She’s taking care of everyone else; she seems cheery and she’s adapting well; the one you should be worried about is the second child.
- Irritability: this looks like conflict in relationships. Sometimes things like drama and fighting can be a great distraction from internal pain or it just can be a twisted expression of that pain. Think of some adult siblings who are mourning the loss of their beloved parents. If their pain seems unbearable it may be more comfortable to fight over the inheritance than to sit with pain.
- Persistent sleep issues: It’s common to have difficulty sleeping and eating right after a big loss and again there’s no time limit but if these problems persist without being addressed, it’s a sign that you’re not dealing with loss.
- Physical symptoms emerge. Sometimes the body keeps the score when emotional pain isn’t addressed. That pain can show up in illnesses, digestive issues, muscle tension headaches, high blood pressure and other physical symptoms.
- Mental health symptoms worsen: Grief is not a mental illness. Mourning is not a mental illness. It’s OK to feel sad and to struggle and to not function normally after a loss. But when we don’t get the support that we need or when we don’t take care of ourselves or address our grief, that can drop people out of a normal grief processes into depression, suicidality, anxiety or other mental health conditions.
Grief and loss aren’t things we can just suck up and move on with. Conquering your grief and overcoming the loss that is weighing you down is most effectively done by understanding the cause of your pain and processing it. With the right counselling services for grief and loss, we can help you successfully navigate this difficult journey.
The Many Ways Grief Impacts Us
- Appetite disturbances
- Energy, fatigue, lethargy
- Sleep disturbances
- Cold (especially for children)
- Anxiety (sweating, trembling, etc.)
- Gastrointestinal disturbance
- Increased illness
- Confusion, “what is real?”
- Difficulty concentrating e.g. read the same page several times
- Short attention span e.g. can’t finish a 30 minute TV show
- Difficulty making decisions
- Lack a sense of purpose
- Inability to find meaning in the events and life itself
- Afraid – can’t go on, abandonment issues
- Relieved/guilty/regretful – in a cycle
- The question “why” reverberates
- Where was God?
- If God is all powerful, why allow this?
- If God loves me, how could this be?
- Prayers weren’t answered
Helpful Ways to Overcome Your Grief?
Lean into the emotion and let you feel them and then you swing out too, to ground yourself, to get comfort, to take a break and rest. So some distraction is OK as long as you face your pain in regular, tiny doses. With as much support and resources as possible. So a healthy nervous system can do both. It can swing in and feel, and then it can swing out and rest. Where an avoidant nervous system just clenches more tightly to avoidance.
As we move into and out of those emotions, we eventually integrate those experiences and our capability to handle them. Take some time to face your intense grief, to ugly cry, to scream, yell, shake, sob and then you take some time to wrap up in a blanket and curl up with your spouse or your dog and spend time doing something you enjoy.
It doesn’t mean that to process grief you have to be sad all the time or let your emotions run your life. Pendulation means that you can just address them in these small chunks and then swing back out.
Adding support to yourself while you face your pain. Instead of avoiding thinking about your loss or avoiding visiting the grave, you consider bringing someone with you to support you while you visit the grave. Or after you have a hard anniversary, maybe you find something that’s really soothing for your body, like a hot bath, or massage or an exercise that feels good. So we’re just adding resources to help strengthen you as you face this painful experience.
Just means doing things in small doses. For example, if you need to work through some old memories or papers, set yourself a time lime to face your pain, and then take a break and come back to it after a rest. You can just try to face your pain in small doses.
How does therapy work?
Ready for change
Being ready for change means embracing uncertainty and growth. It requires courage, commitment, and openness to new possibilities. Embrace the journey and trust in your ability to navigate through challenges, knowing that each step forward brings you closer to personal transformation and fulfillment.
In order to work out your current situation, we help you set goals and an action plan to achieve those goals. We help you challenge yourself, leave your comfort zone and achieve the goals you set, devising strategies & helping develop the skills you need as you go.
We help keep you accountable to the goals you set. Self-improvement journeys typically involve a lot of hard work, emotional discussions and sometimes tough decisions. We’ll support you every step the way. We’re gentle, but we’re also honest.
The work doesn’t stop once you achieve your goals. Your relationship with yourself & others, your life situation, job and other factors will continually evolve. We’ll help you develop the mindset, awareness and skillset to avoid or, if necessary, deal with future challenges.
Mun Yee Lee
Start Changing Your Season Today
Our mission is to help move you through these phases of life, just like the seasons, to a place of calm and acceptance.
If you are ready to discover, explore & move forward, we are ready to help.