The time following a loved one's death can be one of the most devastating experiences we can have.The pain can be searing and intolerable - the hole left unimaginable. We often don't know how we'll go on, or what to do with all the emotions, fears and anxieties that can surface during this overwhelming time.

As well, a period of numbness or confusion can follow a loved one's death. "Why don't I feel anything?" is a common question; one may feel a swimming sense of detachment. We can also feel a sense of relief after a loved one's death, especially if there has been a long period of illness and/or other health impairment. We may feel anger, or regret when the chapter closes on what may feel like a lost opportunity, or a deep sense sadness and painful longing for the individual.

People can experience one or more of these emotions at any time, and the feelings can extend anywhere from days to years. I support individuals who have lost a loved one by processing these feelings in a variety of ways. I use talk, play, journaling and art therapy techniques, depending upon the client's need and developmental stage. If there is interest, I also offer mindfulness techniques and spiritual support, found to be especially helpful in times of grief and loss, as well as altar creation and farewell rituals to honor the loved one's memory while making peace with the transition of death. 

The Integrative Counseling Office of 
Catherine Daniels-Landeros, MS, LMFT