Dealing with the loss of a loved one

case: Two Minute Therapy

In this blog post, an example is given of the kind of issues that can be discussed through TwoMinuteTherapy. In this case: how to deal with the loss of a loved one when the time finally has come for your grief (a year later). 

Psychologist and coach Jeannette Bolck created Two Minute Therapy. After an intake, clients leave a message on Whatsapp when they get stuck, after which Jeannette leaves them advice in return. Listen in on Marianne (37), who unexpectedly lost her mother last year.

“Hi Jeannette, it’s been a while since I last spoke to you, but so much has happened after my mother passed away last year. What a rollercoaster it’s been. It was so sudden.. And on my birthday no less. It’s all just so unfair and all these mixed feelings.. The funeral was so difficult. My sister just completely collapsed and couldn’t stop crying and screaming, even at the grave. And my father was broken. Full on misery. And there I was, giving a speech in front of all these people. It was so hard, I have no idea how I did it. It’s been a year now and I’ve noticed I can’t go on anymore. My job is stupid and boring, I’m incredibly tired and easily annoyed. And I can’t stand people around me and their chatter, for example this colleague who can’t stop talking about her affaire. I’m avoiding my sister, and my dad. He’s already dating. I’m happy for him, don’t get me wrong, but I’m annoyed at the same time. I feel so empty and unkind and I don’t feel like anything. What is wrong with me? It’s been a while now right? I thought it would get better, but it’s actually getting worse. I miss her so much, Jeannette!”

“Hello Marianne, this is so difficult for you. And understandable you feel this way. The first period you were numb, and then I think you went into a ‘doing and taking care of’ mode, but now it’s time for you and your grief. I can understand you are annoyed with people around you. You’re dealing with such big sadness, making everything else just disappear. A colleague like this annoys you more now because you don’t make space for yourself. Don’t try to push contact away, but find support from friends. Be honest with your dad and sister: tell them that you’re going through a difficult time, also because your birthday is coming up again. This time brings a lot back up. I advice you to take it a bit more easy at work. Also on your birthday really take the time to reflect on all the things that have happened. Together with someone or by yourself, whichever you prefer. Sometimes it helps to write a letter with all the things you’d like to say to your mother. Think for a moment what advice she would give to you now. We have a session next Tuesday, we’ll talk more about it then, ok? Take care, Marianne. Bye.”

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