Bereavement, Grief and Loss Support

Bereavement occurs as most people grieve when they lose something or someone important to them. The way grief affects you depends on lots of things.

Everyone's experience of grief and loss is unique. It is normal to feel sad and even angry when a person close to us dies or leaves. People can experience similar feelings when a relationship ends. Mourning is a cycle of loss which often includes denial, fear, loneliness, grief, anger and letting go. It is a painful process but allows us to come to terms with the loss.

Grief, although normal, can manifest itself differently in people. Some people move through its different stages almost effortlessly and others can get stuck at one stage. For these there is the possibility of grief turning into depression as the feelings turn inwards to despair.

Most cultures have rituals which allow the bereaved to be supported and move automatically through the early stages of their loss in a structured way. Funeral services and memorials fill the early days of shock and disbelief with activity and other people. For many, decision-making becomes difficult and concentration can be lost for long periods. Anger may be misdirected at relatives, health professionals or others directly associated with the deceased.

Talking about the loss is usually helpful and allows a person to adjust to their new life with all its changes, good and bad. Keeping things bottled up, or denying the sadness can prolong the pain.

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