The experience of normal grief after a beloved person dies has a lot in common with depression. The bereaved person will experience symptoms such as sadness, disturbed sleep, agitation and decreased ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Generally these symptoms will fade in about two to four months, as the bereaved person goes through a process of gradual weaning from remembered experiences with the loved one.
However , it is not uncommon for bereavement to engender a number of complex and often contradictory feelings such as shame at being powerless to prevent or postpone the death of the loved one, rage at the person who has died, guilt at feeling relieved to be the one who survived, fear of losing one’s mind with sorrow.
These and other painful feelings can complicate the process of grieving and postpone the return to a semblance of normal life.
Therapy provides a space where the bereaved person has the opportunity to gradually take up the threads of life again and return to formerly satisfying activities or develop new ones without feeling that the mourned person is being abandoned or betrayed.