Loss takes many forms. You may have gradually lost someone you love and experience grief alongside guilt for feeling relief. Or you may feel extremely angry at the deceased person for leaving you, you may feel furious with the injustice of the world and question randomness of death. You may blame yourself for not always being nice to the deceased, regret not having said the last words or parting on bad terms. However, there is always a reason why you behave a certain way. It always takes two people to be in a relationship and create certain dynamics. You may have encountered death for the first time and feel anxious about the fact that life ends. You may be questioning your values and priorities and wondering how long do you have left and whether you will ever be able to achieve your goals. All the above-mentioned feelings are a normal part of grief process and you need not question your feelings. There is always a reason why you feel what you feel.
It may have happened that you lost someone abruptly and still finding yourself in disbelief or denial that it happened. You may catch yourself wanting to message or call the person, only to remember that they are not there. You may even talk to them as if they are in the house, keep their belongings in place and hope that they will step through the door one day. Counselling element of psychoanalytic psychotherapy will provide the support you need to gradually accept what happened and move towards healthier relationship with the deceased. Holding on to them does not mean you will forget them or love them less. Through your love you have internalised their presence and their personality within yourself. This means they will always be alive inside your heart no matter whether you are actively thinking about them or not. Similarly to the way you do not stop loving your family or your other half even if you forgot about them for a day. You will always have a relationship with the deceased, but it may have to change. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy will help you to be honest with yourself about what happened.
It may be that your situation is more unique and your loved one went missing and you find yourself waiting for their return day by day, year by year or you may have lost touch with them and it is not clear whether they are deceased. It may be that you are a carer and finding yourself exhausted by your duties, loving and wishing that someone is dead at the same time. You may have death anxiety, worrying that your loved ones or you will die or you may have had near death experience or witnessed death. Loss comes in many ways and it can be that you are struggling with the death of your pet. When our defences are weakened because of stress, loss of meaning or life crises then even loss of an item may feel like losing part of oneself.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy will help you to reflect on your fears, the meaning of death and need for certainty about death. By talking about your most hidden fears and feelings your mind will have an opportunity to process and make sense of your experience as well as make sense of your life in the light of it.
Many cultures believe that there is an inherent benefit in frequent reflections on such a natural process as death, because it makes our life meaningful. It makes us set priorities, be the best version of ourselves, live according to our values and take risks. If there was no death the meaning of life would also disappear.
Psychotherapy will help you to progress through the stages of grief, but this may not necessarily be linear process. As unique human beings we all have our own ways to deal with difficulties and your psychotherapist will respect that and be your trusted companion alongside your path.
You may want to reflect on the process of overcoming grief. The way we deal with bereavement often shines light on our inner wounds. Overcoming loss is a skill that we are taught by our caregivers very early on. Having unemphatic parenting (this may happen with the most wonderful caregivers, who are uncomfortable with their feelings) might be contributing to difficulties in overcoming loss.
Although you may not want to imagine any quality life without your loved one, it is probably not what they would wish for you. The person whom you lost would most probably wish that you spend the rest of your life as happy as you can and that would make them happy.
Before your sessions begin you may benefit from starting a diary where you would express all your feelings and fears. You may find it beneficial to write a letter to yourself from an older you or from your own diary. What would it say to you?