In 2016 I began studying to become a bereavement and grief counselor through Nechama Grief Counseling. It was a journey to deepen my skills about the pain, disbelief, shock and void that one can experience after loss, and the support that can be offered to accompany them towards a place of healing.
What is Bereavement Counseling?
As difficult as it is, at some point in our lives we will experience loss. A normal reaction that we have to loss, (of any type) is grief. Bereavement is a form of grief regarding the death of a loved one. Everyone’s response to loss is different, and one may experience a wide range of feelings which are all part of the process, for example; anger, shock, abandonment, deep sadness, loneliness or guilt.
According to Therese Rando, the stages of mourning move between four stages:
- Accepting the reality of the loss
- Working through the pain of grief
- Adjusting to life without the deceased
- Maintaining a ‘new’ connection with the deceased while moving on with life.
Within a nurturing context these feelings are explored and acknowledged, and given the time and permission to be felt and resolved. Bereavement counseling helps you adapt to your significant loss in a caring way, so that you can learn to live without that person in your life.
Anyone struggling to come to terms with their loss, or battling to cope or move forwards can benefit from bereavement counseling. The struggle could be in the form of physical effects like difficulty sleeping, eating or concentrating, or mental effects like despair or anxiety.
Often the support you need cannot, or does not come from those around you, which can be further overwhelming. Counseling offers you the safety, and support where you don’t have to be alone with your pain, hide your tears or feel as if you are a burden to those around you. The process of counseling, which is a compassionate, listening ear bearing witness to your pain, and what you have lost, helps your healing process.
My goal through bereavement counseling
This process takes place in a safe and confidential environment, allowing you the space to heal and unburden your pain.
I like to think of it as helping people see and feel that the relationship has not ended, but that it has changed. It will always be with you. People often say to me, “Why can’t I just move on.” The truth is, there has been a loss, and it needs to be integrated and mourned, so I prefer to think of it as “moving forward”, instead of “moving on”. As a caring, empathic bereavement counselor, I am here to accompany you as you navigate this transition and difficult process. My role is to walk with you in your time of grief and help you move through these stages at your pace.
Devorah has been a Godsend for me. Her counseling helped me through the worst of tragedies (losing a son) and has helped and is helping me reconnect to life again. She is a powerfully gentle healer who knows what she is able to do. She uses her personality and skills to encourage, guide and support my recovery. Hope she will be part of my life for a long time to come.” Professor Claire Rabin November 20 2019
Quite simply, Devorah’s bereavement counselling not only saved my life – sympathetically and skilfully coaxing me through and out of the darkest and most painful time – but also changed my life; introducing me to techniques of meditation and visualisation that I’ve been able to build upon and utilise in many areas. Needless to say, I can’t recommend Devorah highly enough. Daniel 2023
After losing my father unexpectedly, I didn’t know who I could turn to with my grief. I felt very alone in my feelings and losing my father made me feel like my whole sense of security was broken. But then I started working with Devorah. It was a slow process but I finally had a place to express myself and really process my loss and all the existential questions that came along with it. I will forever mourn the loss of my father, but thanks to Devorah, I have the tools to manage my grief and I don’t feel alone anymore. I’ve learned how to share my grief with others and I’ve learned how to find meaning even when all feels lost. I’m very grateful to Devorah for her kindness and wisdom throughout all our sessions. She really helped me move through my grief with purpose and meaning.
-Chaya Engel, 33 years old, wife, mother of 2, Maale Adumim, Israel – Feb 2024
I was going through a very tough year which involved tragic loss of my mother and other unfortunate circumstances with a few family members. I arrived at Devorah like a bird with broken wings. I couldn’t function in my personal life as well as run my business. Everything was overwhelming, while at the same time, I gave everyone around me comfort and strength that they needed. Throughout our sessions, Devorah gave me tools and guidance on how to deal with grief during such intense stress that I had in my life. Almost 5 months after a full year of a weekly session, I can say that thanks to Devorah, I am able to deal with many situations, that once seemed very big and scary. I am stronger, braver and very much aware of my feelings. That helps me deal better when I feel overwhelmed or that my world around me is collapsing. Thanks to Devorah, I now can fly. Feb 2024
A response to tragedy and grief.I feel like I need to share some of my thoughts after this devastating tragedy that occurred on Lag B’Omer
Today marks 21 years since my father Harry Bloom died. I was only 26 at the time, pretty young to lose the most influential person