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  • Writer's pictureDr Dermot Casey

Loss & Bereavement

We all experience gains and losses in our lives each and every day. This is the dynamic of life. However, certain losses effect, us humans much more. This is because they are very important to our lives. I will give you two examples of same. One is material/lifestyle loss, and the other is human loss. By the way we can be impacted just as much by either of these. It will all depend on what is most important to you, at this time of your life.

Material/Lifestyle loss

We all own many material items including cars, books, clothes, money, which at various times of our lives can become very important to us.

For example, you might say if I do not have my car. I will not be able to go my place of work. But these types of possessions and the way that we live our lives (lifestyle) could be so important to other important processes in your life for example: self-esteem.

Your self-esteem could be very much tied into having a certain job and if you feel that you do not have same it will change the way that you value yourself. When you lose this job, it is much more than just the financial component, it might have a significant impact on your self-value and the way you might feel others now might view you?

Human loss

This can either be in the form of a relationship that has broken down. Or a person moves away to live in another part of the world.

As humans we are very good at attaching to people and building a bond with them. Which might include loving them as well. When we lose this person from our lives it can bring significant distress to us - both short and long term.

The most significant of these processes is bereavement, when someone that we love, passes. And the resulting feelings of grief. Unfortunately, grief is inevitable, inescapable part of life. When we lose someone that we loved it will have a significant impact on both our body and minds well-being.

Everyone’s bereavement is different, why because you are different and your relationship with the person that passed was also different. It can then be complicated if we have regrets or unfinished business with the person that passed.

We can also have negative feelings about their passing, guilt, shame, responsibility of some sort. That is the time when we might need and come to talk to a professional.

Symptoms of Grief might include:

  • shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about "being in a daze"

  • overwhelming sadness

  • tiredness or exhaustion

  • anger – towards the person you've lost or the reason for your loss

  • guilt – for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or did not say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying

  • feeling that I am not grieving enough or that I am grieving too much

These are and many other symptoms can impact on our lives significantly. When this is the case, it might be time to come and talk to a professional.


  • it allows you to talk to a different person about your grief. A person that will not judge you. Maybe you might feel that you are being stupid.

  • ways that might make this process a little easy for you to get through.

  • expressing your emotions freely. These can include sadness, anger, resentment about what has happened.

  • processing feelings of guilt, shame and responsibility relating to aspects of the person’s life or passing. This can complicate your grief.

All I ask if that you give therapy a try at this time. It won’t stop you loving and missing the person. However, it can help you to improve your well-being while trying to continue with living the life you are meant to live.

If you have any comments on the above please contact me as shown below.

Thanks for reading

Dr Dermot Casey

Counselling Psychologist, Cork, Ireland.


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