This isn't an easy article to write, simply because it's pretty personal. But I've learned that in order to help others who are coping with the loss of a loved one, I need to be more open. So, with that, I want to admit that a few months after my brother, Eddie Au, had passed I decided to seek some counseling.
Now, I wasn't at a stage of severe depression nor feeling like I was losing my mind. What I was feeling, with no better way to put it was, cloudy. I noticed I would want to sleep more, wasn't as excitable, less motivated to exercise, and felt like I wasn't processing thoughts as quickly as I once did. Ultimately, I knew I wasn't being myself and I hated it.
I was extremely hesitant about going for bereavement counseling because of all the negative connotations that seem to follow it. But in the end, it came down to me wanting to become better and stronger. And I'll tell you this now, when I have told people that I've gone, they don't look at me with pity nor shock. It just makes sense. Let's be honest, a majority of the population would probably do a lot better with some form of counseling =).
I want to make it clear that my family and friends were available to me. However, I must say, that there's something different about talking to a person whom you know are binded by law to keep everything you say to them private. And since the company I worked for provided insurance coverage for counseling, I figured it couldn't hurt to at least try.
After the first session, I continued going weekly for just over a year. I realized that each visit helped because it provided me an outlet to talk about what I was going through, even though a few visits felt repetitive and uneventful.
I believe a lot of people sink into depression because they feel they're alone in the matter and that nobody cares about what they're going through. And that's the biggest mistake they make. You need to open up!. If you don't have the means to seek professional counseling, then at least talk to family, friends, or join a grief counseling forum to tell your story.
People experience the loss of a loved one every single day. Each person may experience it differently, but you should know that you're not alone. And there is no shame in asking for some help every now and then.