That's the reason you're here anyway, right?
Let's talk about my grief counseling experience.
After months of grieving, I just couldn't recover from it. I found the thought of death frightening and every phone call from Georgia terrifying. I cried often. I looked exactly like what I was going through.
I finally decided in August 2015 to get help. I waited so long because I thought as a Christian, God-fearing woman I didn't need a stranger to fix my brokenness because I have Jesus. The truth of the matter is that God placed gifted people on Earth to be his eyes, hands, ears, shoulders, lips, etc. He put people in place to help. So I went to a grief counselor. She asked why I was there. I told her. My cousin and grandmother (both in the same family) died 3 days apart, 2 months after I had my baby. I was just getting back to work like two weeks prior. Life was moving on but I wasn’t. After a few sessions things got deeper and I found myself bawling through each one. I told her I felt guilty because Derrick died and then Granny; but it was like I just hurried Derrick away, buried him (in my mind) and then just grieved over Grandma. I also couldn't get the image of my Grandma's lifeless body lying in her bed out of my head. I remembered my aunt calling my phone when she couldn't reach my Mom. She yelled, "Get here NOW!" My mom lived down the street from Grandma. So I barely got dressed, woke my husband, grabbed my baby, and wrapped him up. I ran from Mom’s rear house to her main house and woke her and we jumped in the car to ride there. We pulled up and one cousin was in the yard crying, another I could hear screaming when I walked in the house. I slowly walked to Grandma's room and I remember screaming "NO!!" as I doubled over when I walked into her bedroom. I had been praying a selfish prayer that God would keep her here a little longer. I needed more time, more of her wisdom. I wanted her to spoil my baby rotten like she did my cousins'. She was the matriarch of the family and the big yellow house on the corner of Elm and Gillespie would never be the same. I cried out to God over and over in that moment, until I was numb.
Any who, back to therapy... The therapist told me that she wanted to try a treatment called EMDR because the reason I couldn't heal from the hurt was because I tried to push it to the back of my mind without dealing with what actually happened. She asked me to choose what I felt from a list. I chose "helpless" and then what I wanted to feel after our sessions. I chose "empowered." I felt like I should have been able to control these emotions and thoughts.
So what is EMDR?
It’s Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Most therapists use a finger, asking you to follow with your eyes as they move it side to side. She used a light instead, that moved in a side to side motion. She could remotely speed it up or slow it down. While I followed the light, she would ask me about the most painful memories. It brought out many emotions. She then asked me about good memories of my cousin and grandma. I did. My cousin was a jokester and Granny was the sweetest person I knew. I had great memories of them.
“At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient's own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.” –WebMD
So before being treated, I had to sign a form agreeing that I had no upcoming court dates in which I would have to recall specific events. I was concerned. "I don't want to forget them or forget what happened! I want to heal from it." She said I had nothing to worry about and I wouldn't forget. She was right. I didn't forget a single detail but I can admit that the EMDR treatments weakened the effects of the negative emotions.
I needed help. The grief was starting to affect the way I functioned daily and then I started to feel like people were tired of me grieving; but the truth is that there is not a time-limit for grief. Not to mention, I had to learn how to live with a new baby and how to live without those family members who left so abruptly. Grandma had been sick for a while but I really believed God for her healing. He is sovereign and had a different plan for her. Derrick was 35 and had just visited Grandma the night before he had a heart attack. Gosh...
I was able to move forward and grief no longer had that strong hold on me. I still miss them every single day and sometimes even cry on their special days but I have recovered and healed. I would highly recommend EMDR for anyone dealing with grief, PTSD, addictions, anxiety, or any type of psych issue.
P.S. It’s okay to get help. It doesn’t make you weak. Christian or not, there are people whose sole purpose in life is to help you when you need it.