Saying Goodbye Proactively: Grief Counselling in Vancouver

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We all hope to pass quickly and peacefully when the time comes. Often, those left behind are the ones who suffer the most. Bereavement and grief counselling services help people cope after death, but sometimes grief counselling can also be an emotionally healthy way to help prepare for an impending loss.

Greif is a natural response to death but varies from person to person. It’s not uncommon to feel emotions like guilt, yearning, anger, or regret depending on the relationship. Besides managing our feelings, grief counselling also helps us prepare ourselves for managing the death of a loved one when the time comes. Some of these strategies are simply practical—like following a plan that provides order when life feels spiralling and chaotic. Here are a few tips I like to share with clients facing an impending loss:

Tips for Saying Goodbye

  • Say everything you need and want – good or bad, express your feelings
  • Express love and emotions – let the person know what they mean to you
  • Understand family assets and the location of essential documents to minimize anger and confusion during a chaotic time
  • Understand the process – mourning is about separating and moving forward, so we don’t become emotionally stuck
  • Visualize what life will look like after the death of your loved one—understand life will go on, and saying goodbye will also open new paths and options 
  • Give everyone ample time to grieve – grief has no timeline; a child saying goodbye to a parent is different from mourning a parent or friend—be compassionate and patient 

Any loss is tragic, but the death of people who play essential roles in our lives is incredibly profound—parents, partners, siblings, and best friends. Death can leave behind a void like nothing we’ve ever felt. Part of this is that these people have shared our dreams, hopes, sorrows, triumphs, and tragedies, so a bit of us dies with them. 

Once death has taken place, grief counselling shifts to:

  • Accepting the reality of the loss
  • Working through the pain of grief
  • Adjusting to life without the deceased
  • Maintaining a connection while moving on 

We all grieve in our own ways and in our own time. For some of us, resuming normal activities and staying focused will provide some relief, although there may be moments of sadness. For others, it can take years—dependency on the departed can cause complications, and conditions like depression can also exacerbate grieving. 

Through grief counselling services, we learn that emotions like joy, contentment, and hope do not need to be absent during this difficult time. Grieving is a complex process, fraught will all kinds of emotions. Part of preparing to say goodbye and learning how to function again is making time for self-care, recreation, and support with the complete understanding that this does not diminish our loss—or shorten the mourning period.

Grief Counselling in Vancouver and Surrey

As a grief counsellor serving Vancouver and the lower mainland, my goal is to help people say goodbye in ways that let them feel authentic and whole and then adjust to a new life that’s fully realized, even in the absence of a loved one. Through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, patients can explore emotions, memories, and feeling without judgement. All grief warrants support, no matter how significant or minor—you don’t have to be alone.

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