“I had a feeling… that grieving is a painful… but necessary process… not an end (but) the beginning of a new stage in your life and given time and support you can get through it.”
“I didn’t go straight home after the first meeting, not because I didn’t want to go home to an empty house, as in the past, but because I was content to stay out, I was seeing my world a little differently…”
“I felt comfortable expressing my feelings, looked forward to every session, only downside is I had to travel very far.”
– Vivianne K.
“Lean Into It has given me confidence to go out into the world knowing that I’m not the only one struggling. The staff gave me suggestions on how to deal with problems and it’s just an overall good place to be when in need.”
– Emily P.
“(What I liked about Art With Heart: For Kids) Making the pets because they were cute and when I’m scared or upset they help me”
– Kasey C.
“(What I liked about Art With Heart: For Kids) New friends. Invisible string, buzzing like a bee, paper planes.”
– Cory K.
“Cory’s mum died last year. This sort of grief counselling is great for him. It helps him express his feelings and make new friends.”
– Peter K.
Humans of Grief
Like the famous ‘Humans of New York’, this section provides personal insight to your everyday human who has experienced grief. Their stories will provide insight and understanding to the reader on what the person’s experiences really felt like and how The Grief Centre played a role in their journey.
IntroductionGrief is a natural and normal response to loss and can evoke powerful emotions, such as sorrow, guilt, pain, regret, anguish and emptiness, amongst others. Any or all of these emotions may engulf us, shroud our thinking and lead many to despair, overwhelmed by the difficult and grueling work of dealing with their loss. Others may believe that it is impossible to recover from the pain of their loss, bury intense emotions, and just ‘get on with it’. Neither way is helpful in the long term; not to the individual, their family or their community.
To allow hope to kindle in our heart, is to begin to loosen the grip of grief on our lives. Many, after the loss of a loved one, speak of being exhausted, weary from the heaviness and heartache that has been their companion for so long. Wanting to leave behind the debilitating effects of loss and have a glimmer of hope, does not, in any way, diminish the depth of your grief or how profound your loss. It is about being willing to reevaluate and open yourself to the possibility of change and acceptance.
At The Grief Centre of Western Australia we believe that with understanding and support, recovery is possible. Below are a couple stories shared by our group members from Life After Loss.
Stories of Recovery
My Wife passed away in November 2015 after a long illness after years of pain and suffering. After her death I was completely lost…I have never felt, nor imagined, I was capable of feeling so much despair. At the suggestion of the counsellor I decided to attend a group session at the Grief Centre. I have always held the belief that group therapy is something for people who are unable to accept that life is, well life.
After my first meeting I left and sat in my car and I just felt so strange; less tense, serene almost…not the feeling of isolation that I had been feeling…I had the realisation that grief, whilst potentially all consuming, is such a complex thing involving so many different emotions, emotions that others feel and you may not and vice versa and that is perfectly normal. We each have our own journey but being able to share that journey is invaluable.
I had a feeling…that grieving is a painful…but necessary process…not an end (but) the beginning of a new stage in your life and given time and support you can get through it.
I didn’t go straight home after the first meeting, not because I didn’t want to go home to an empty house, as in the past, but because I was content to stay out, I was seeing my world a little differently … the life I had shared with my wife…it certainly hasn’t all been in vain, it isn’t pointless after all. There’s a long way to go on my journey but now I feel I have a direction to go in.
Grief is a very personal and also a very individual experience. There is not a quick fix, but I believe, (grief is) a journey that at some time you have to work through.
People will do this in many different ways, and unfortunately no one thing will work for everyone.
The group was set up to try to make sense of the massive questions of why bad and sad and also unfair things happen. By talking, and just as importantly listening, I personally found the group helps you to understand and find the tools to make going through grief a possibility, and indeed reality.
To hear people’s stories helps you understand also that you are not alone in your thoughts and sadness, but the sensible and practical ways that have helped others can also help you. I personally feel that while there is no one simple answer to how to stop the pain of loss, to talk to people who are dealing and progressing through grief is incredibly positive and can only help.
You might go to a meeting only once or as many times as you feel it is useful, again it is totally up to you. The group is a very uplifting forum and will give you a greater understanding of a subject which will touch us all.
I was 7. My life was bright and colourful. Then on the 3rd Oct, my beautiful 21-year-old brother died after a four day illness. My life lost its colour. My other brother and I were sent away for a few days and when we returned all traces of Nick had been removed and we were forbidden to mention his name. My mother was inconsolable and while she mourned for him physically and mentally until she died at age 94, she never spoke of him to me again.
All aspects of my life from that point on were touched by the blackness of grief – school, sport, marriage, children, relationships, aspirations, thoughts, life. I wanted to cry but no tears came. I wanted to live, but every day was consumed by the fear that something might happen to me or mine.
By chance I enrolled in a course Christine was facilitating at Tuart College and she offered to show the class the Grief Centre. I walked into that room and without a word even being spoken I was overcome with emotion. After much inner turmoil I decided to attend my first group on grief.
Many weeks later and with the support of my wonderful friends at the Grief Centre, colour is coming back into my life. I have forgiven myself for Nick’s death. For 57 years my mantra was “I wish I had died in Nick’s stead.”
I now talk about Nick, I remember fun times with Nick and most importantly the Grief Centre has allowed me to, for the first time in my life, grieve openly amongst others there who have become my friends, who understand and accept me without judgement or expectation. I realize now, while I am deeply sad that Nick is not here, I am and I want to live life more fully.
My life has changed. I dare to be happy, I take more risks, I am kinder to myself and I have a more honest relationship with my family.
I still have a way to go, but thankfully I am not on my own.
Please call or email us if you have any positive or negative feedback, comments, or questions.
(08) 9444 7659