Life Turned Upside Down
Posted by John Polo
April is Counseling Awareness Month.
Some say they don’t want counseling. Some say they don’t need counseling. Personally, I'm a big believer in counseling. In bereavement. In seeking some sort of help. Some sort of support. Some sort of release.
When you lose a loved one, your life is turned upside down. Your mind is tired. Your heart is broken. Help is available. Help can be sought. And dare I say, help should be sought.
I fell in love with my beautiful wife at the age of eighteen, and we dated for one year. We spent eight years apart, until fate brought us back together. At the age of 30, she took her last breath with us.
As a couple, we sought counseling toward the end of her cancer battle. As an individual, I sought counseling during her cancer battle. Often. I had to cry to someone. I had to vent to someone. I had to let it out. The pain, the agony — it was too much to bear alone. The realization of what was soon to come was eating away at my insides, and I knew that I could not fight such a battle on my own.
Those that I sought out listened to my pain and my fears, they acknowledged my raw emotion, and they aided me. Working with them helped me emotionally, to let it all out. Working with them helped me mentally, by helping me to understand my emotions and the emotions of those around me. They helped me to be a better husband to my dying wife, a better stepfather to our broken-hearted little girl, and a better overall me.
To this day, 14 months into this unasked-for journey, I still seek counseling. I seek one-on-one counseling, and I seek group counseling. Both are helpful in their own unique ways. The team at JourneyCare told me that they would be there for us, even after Michelle passed away. Those words have indeed remained true.
In honor of Counseling Awareness Month I will say this: You do not need to go at this alone. Help is available. It has helped me. I believe it can help you too.
Read John's post about hospice on his Better Not Bitter Widower blog: "Hospice: The Gift We Never Wanted to Receive"