My mum passed away in July last year and I was going backwards and forwards from my workplace to the hospital, and even just being in the office after her death was traumatic for me. I changed jobs, but I didn’t really give myself time. I finished the previous job on Thursday and walked into the new one on Monday.
I quickly realised that I made a mistake because when I was at one of my initial meetings with my manager and she asked me something, I could not say a word and I started cry. She told me that bereavement service was offered through work and she signposted me and showed me how to access it.
It was a very simple process to contact the service and get help. I just messaged them and left my details and soon I got a call and then an e-mail asking for my availability. I sent my preferred times back and I was sent a timetable of sessions to agree shortly. It was actually surprisingly very quick, about a month, from when I first approached until my first session.
The therapy changed everything. I did not realise how much I was trying to hold it all together. There had been some very difficult things that happened in my family, really unpleasant things around my mum’s death and there was a lot of things I was really struggling to think about. I withheld talking about them with the people around me because I was so scared.
I had never felt that kind of misery before. The whole world felt wrong, a bit lopsided. I couldn’t function properly and then suddenly there was this amazing person, Naid on the other end of the phone; and I just cried for nearly an hour at the first session. My distress score at the beginning was something like 26 or 28 and it had come down to 8 by the end of the last session.
I felt like I was with my arms out, holding the wall behind me, but it felt like she was holding the whole space; and in that space I could talk about my feelings. She made me feel there was no stupid questions and there were no feelings that were too much. She was absolutely wonderful and as a result, I can now talk about my mum and about the happier things in connection with her. It doesn’t make me cry to say her name anymore and I have some nice memories that I can access without feeling low.
I know it’s not over but it doesn’t feel as panicky and terrifying as it did before. I’m just taking it step by step. Naid explained me my own process of feelings and she made me feel like she actually cared about what happened to me and that I came out of it happier and carry on with my life. It felt so personal.
If this service was not available through my work, I think there was a good chance that I would have gone off on long term sick and caused myself quite a lot of emotional damage too. I feel enormous gratitude towards the counsellor, she was so wonderful and kind, like a friend. She made me feel that I was really important to her.
Bereavement Counselling is a very personal wellbeing service that focuses on you as an individual and helps you to improve your emotional wellbeing so you can enjoy your life again.