small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day


on February 6, 2014

Today’s small thing: meeting with a grief counselor

After much diliberation and a few people suggesting it, I decided to see a grief counselor.  Not because I think I’m crazy or not doing well, but because I know there are so many thoughts and feelings I need to let out. And grief counselors are trained to guide people like me. 

The loss of my dad is very hard to talk about to just anyone. I don’t want to be a downer, I don’t want to make people feel awkward, and I don’t want people to fear saying the wrong thing. (You won’t say the wrong thing, by the way. I like whatever you say because it means I’m not alone!)

It’s difficult though because deep down I really WANT to talk about it. I want to tell people about the journey and share with them the many positives we experienced. I want to tell about the night he passed and how truly beautiful and holy it was. I want to tell about all the memories I have of Dad.

I also want to tell about how sad and frustrated I am that he isn’t here anymore. And that is where it gets sticky when talking to friends and family. 

So enter the objective counselor. 

I first met with her last week after contacting her through a local hospice care center. She and I had a great chat getting to know one another and discussing the basics about grief and coping. As I shared my story she gave me small but impactful pieces of perspective which no one else could have noticed or explained to me as well as she did. 

And that makes all the difference.

She sees people like me everyday and knows what is normal. She knows the questions to ask and can talk to me honestly and without emotional ties. She gives me tools to help me release my feelings and to help me heal.

Wow, I’m making her sound like a miracle worker. She’s not. She is just helping me take all the puzzle pieces floating in my head and put them together slowly instead of staying a jumbled mess. 

I have a sense of purpose again, now that I’m working on my interior self. I know that there isn’t a magic formula for getting through this sadness, but I do know that doing nothing won’t help. And I’m ready to stop doing nothing.

I know that’s what Dad would want. 

When have you had someone provide good counsel to you? Are you a counselor in a sense for someone else? What do you think of counseling? I appreciate your comments and insights. 


2 responses to “counsel

  1. Anne O'Brien says:

    Kari – I am so very glad you have a professional to help you sort through your feelings. I’ve been worried about you. Grief can be a very lonely journey and it takes a long time to heal. I am very proud of you and hope you continue to see this counselor as long as you need to. It shows a real maturity and self-respect – the kind your Dad was always bragging about that you had! Much love, Anne


  2. […] then began to see a grief counselor, thanks to the nudging of a concerned aunt and my own desire to feel better. Through counseling […]


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