Compassionate and Professional Care

Coping with Grief

It may seem that in many ways, our culture has made death a taboo subject.

Often those who are in the presence of bereaved people have no idea how to express their sympathy; they feel at a loss, uncertain about whether to say anything, not sure that their sympathy would be welcome.

Those grieving may feel completely isolated by their sorrow; sometimes the state of shock keeps them at a distance for some time. The stages of grief may cause them to behave in highly unusual ways, and sometimes the reaction of others only seems to make that grief feel worse.

It’s important for people around the bereaved to realise that no special words are needed. There is no timetable for grief, and the bereaved person should never feel pushed into ‘getting over it’. Letting the person grieve as they need to is of pivotal importance. Being there for the person who’s suffered a loss is also incredibly important.

For the bereaved - bear in mind that there are support groups and resources to help you cope. Organisations like the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement and Reach Out, and links such as GriefLink and the Victorian Government’s Better Health site illustrate the increased awareness of grief and how it can be acknowledged and even helped. As Better Health says, “Grief is our response to loss. It is often thought that people progress through grief in similar ways, but this isn’t the case. Everyone experiences grief differently because our reaction depends on a range of individual factors, such as our personality, age, relationship with the deceased, cultural practices, the level of social support and our spiritual beliefs.
There is no ‘right way’ way to grieve. Misconceptions about the grieving process can make the bereaved person question their feelings and sanity. Understanding what grief can be like, finding ways to safely express strong emotions and coming up with coping strategies can help you endure the pain of your loss.”

funeral celebrant

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