Grief and Loss Counseling
Loss is perhaps life's greatest certainty - and most difficult of passages. I have written in this blog post about different kinds of loss. There is the long journey of a spouse's chronic or degenerative illness; there is the loss that occurs with acute illness and intensive medical interventions; there is the unexpected loss that shocks and catapults a new reality into existence in seconds. There is the loss of love, of a marriage ended, a relationship that hit a wall. All losses require a time of grieving and grieving too comes in waves, stages and sometimes accompanied by serious complications.
Small steps: Each day, baby steps mark the way towards a tolerable reality. Unexpected loss strips the survivor of their confidence in the predictability of life and this can be quite debilitating. Rebuilding a trust in the everyday world might take some professional help as well as the passage of time. Time is a paradox in loss. It is time whose excruciating tred moves so slowly along in the grieving process and yet it is time whose gentle hand can be so healing.
Our Coupledom Life: When we sign on for the shared life, written in invisible ink along the margins of the contract to love another is the profound truth: one of our twosome will depart first. Does that keep us from love? Hardly. Loss is life’s most consistent theme.
If you need a hand to guide you when you are faced with the unfathomable, seek out family, friends or experts. Don’t totter alone. This deepest of all human emotions needs company.
How I work:
- To lose a partner, a spouse, a child, a friend, parent or pet is the most difficult of life’s many challenges. My first goal is to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for the grieving patient. Loss can trigger conflicting and deeply confusing emotions in each of us. Grief and relief; loneliness and freedom; anger and guilt. Fear and excitement.
- Because life doesn’t stand still for grieving, daily functioning and often complicated decisions have to take place alongside the arduous task of hauling the emotional baggage of loss through the course of a day. My role here is to help sort through resources and brainstorm choices for the tasks required while simultaneously providing a safe place for the bereaved to be honest and open with themselves.
- I see an important part of my role as therapist is to aid the bereaved in deepening their understanding of how best to meet their needs for life’s next chapter. Accompanying a profound loss can be a questioning of one’s identity - who am I now if not the wife, husband, mother, father, brother, sister, or best friend anymore? Recalibration of identity is normal and can be enriched by an exploration of the relationship with the deceased along with the memories, and meaning of shared experiences. A key role as the therapist is to aid in deepening the bereaved’s understanding of themselves and how best to meet their needs for life’s next chapter.
"Jill’s attentive approach and warmth set me at ease within moments in our first session. Her regard for my emotions and her heightened listening skills gave rise to trust between us that allowed me to grow exponentially. I cannot express my gratitude enough to Jill for the work we’ve done together."
Jill helped me tremendously over a 20 year period. She is perceptive, smart, articulate, humorous and as another reviewer put it, “she hits the nail on the head” with many issues. I was in a very difficult marriage when I began seeing Jill, and she got me through the remainder of my marriage, and years later a very lengthy, difficult divorce. I credit her with that and will always be grateful. Through the process, Jill helped me understand my family background and some of the reasons I had the issues I had and have. Jill is a very caring person and her guidance and help were thoughtful in all ways.
"Jill was able to compassionately, yet purposefully, unearth the root issues that had left our marriage of twenty-five years in a tenuous place; helping each of us to better understand and take ownership of our unique contributions to the state of our relationship. After lots of hard work, patience, and, with Jill’s help – a newfound empathy for each other, our sessions with Jill fostered an ease of communication and understanding that was very difficult for us to elicit before meeting her. I am pleased to report that now - thirty-five years in - our marriage is stronger than ever. The profoundness of Jill’s impact on our lives cannot be overstated."
“I have referenced your blog to others many times. You do really and truly get it! There is something about reading the journey taken by someone else to make our own journey easier and to view the sometimes difficult experiences with another’s understanding perspective.”
NN Riverview School parent
"Ms. Edelman is an extremely insightful, caring, compassionate therapist who is able to quickly get to the core of an issue. She has helped me as an individual for many years as well as as part of a couple. In fact, I do not believe that I would have been able to find love without her help. You could not ask for a better professional to help you with any issue. I highly recommend her to all."
"I have known Jill professionally for over 20 years. She is an absolutely fantastic therapist, that cares deeply for her patients, is easily accessible and always has solid advice and recommendations. She has helped me personally as well as in my marriage, work thru issues as they have arisen over the years. I owe her a great deal of credit for the person I have become today. I consider her a part of my extended family, she has been that important in my life. My wife and I regularly say to each other "thank you Jill".