A member recently asked a question in regard to the death of his father. Almost a year has passed and he can’t seem to get some of the traumatic images involving the last few days of his father’s life out of his head.
First to this member and other dealing with a similar situation, I am so sorry for your loss. Being flooded with intrusive images and thoughts after a death of a loved one is not an uncommon symptom of grief. Even a year or more after it can feel as if the loved one just died. When the loss is a loved one or if you witnessed a traumatic death those images and thoughts can stick around while continuing to process the events surrounding the death and the death itself.
Eventually, intrusive images and thoughts should subside although reoccurring with less frequency. However, if they don’t it may mean that you need more support such as seeking counseling. Additionally, seeking grief counseling after a death is a personal choice. There are no hard and fast rules rather guidelines. If you are asking if it’s a good idea then chances are it is. Everyone needs support while they are grieving regardless if the loss happened yesterday or twenty years ago. If it is pressing on your mind it’s important to seek help.
Sometimes, just being able to tell your story to someone else resolves some of the fear, isolation and sadness. If you’re not ready to talk to a counselor, talking to friends, family, clergy or another trusted person in your life is fine too. Start with talking to whoever feels most comfortable or right.
Talking to a counselor is also good idea at any point after a loss but especially if your symptoms have not resolved or you are feeling overwhelmed by them. A professional may be able to give you strategies and help you process the loss more effectively.