ForestI think it was Alfred Lord Tennyson who said ‘it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all’.

I personally agree but am aware that loving comes with an eventual price tag. The price of love, at some point along one’s lifespan, is ultimately loss. It won’t stop me loving, but I realise I need to be able to deal with loss when it inevitably visits.
Grieving isn’t a place we want to find ourselves and we are not familiar with the landscape when we are thrust there, often unexpectedly. Grief counselling can be a vital guide through this often challenging emotion.

Losses come in many different forms; each challenges us in different ways.

The most obvious loss is that of someone we hold dear, when their life ends.

This is a finite loss, as it is clear and absolute. It is accompanied by mourning rituals and ceremony, such as funerals and memorials, in which we grieve, usually with others, and our grief is recognised and validated. Sometimes, due to the nature of our prior relationship to the person we have lost, grief counselling might be necessary. Often, though, we get through with support from family and friends.

A loss can be traumatic, however, as in the wake of an untimely or violent death, a road accident, a murder, or a suicide. These can be extremely difficult to process and move through, and can lead a griever into long-term ‘complicated’ grief territory. In these situations, grief therapy is necessary.

Then there are other, less recognised losses.

They are called ambiguous losses because they are not easily seen or acknowledged by others, and they have no clear outcomes.

Examples are situations in which someone we hold dear is say, suffering from serious mental illness, depression, substance addiction, alzheimers disease, brain injuries, or maybe a stroke. They aren’t present in ways that are important to us. We have lost a sense of them and their usual ‘presence’.

Even the end of a long-term relationship can create this type of unfinished business inside of us, as the person who is gone, is now absent but still living in everyday life. This can make the grieving process difficult. People around us may not realise we are carrying lingering sadness and heartache, which can feel very isolating and feel unsupported. This can be heavy emotional luggage to carry forward.

Grief counselling can help us to refashion our life compass and rebuild our relational life, in the wake of loss. It can help us to lighten our emotional load, to heal a broken heart and build the fortitude necessary to stand up and take life on again, having found meaning in our loss, and gained resilience.

Sessions are available with Michael at Bardon Centre on Mondays, Wednesday mornings and Fridays.

You can book online:


Call 07 3368 1300 to make an appointment.

Please note: A number of Private Health Funds now rebate Counselling.

Gift vouchers are also available if you know of someone who may be struggling and could benefit from some added support.