Bereavement, Grief and Loss

Grieving is a natural healing process, but it can be devastating stage in our lives. So what exactly is it? Let’s break it down.

Bereavement: The death of someone in your life

Grief: The process in which we go through after a bereavement

Loss: A sense we feel after we have lost someone, but the feeling of loss can come in many different shapes and sizes, from losing your job or home, the ending of a relationship or the loss of oneself (also see depression). We often experience similar feelings with loss to grief.

What are the stages of grief

Denial: “This can’t be happening to me”

Anger: “Why is this happening to me”

Bargaining: “I will do anything to change this”

Depression: “What’s the point of going on after this loss?”

Acceptance:“I know what happened and can’t change it. Now I need to cope”

Time limits on grieving

Questions we can ask ourselves:

Is there a time limit on how long I will feel like this?

Will I feel like this forever?

The answer to both is NO.

Think of bereavement as a hole that can’t be filled. The hole represents the loss of that person, so it will always be there, however you as a person, over time, will continue to grow and carry on, despite this feeling impossible at the beginning. So the loss of that person will never not be there, but you will learn to find a way to carry on living without them. You WILL adjust and grow and the learn to live despite being aware of that hole.

Things people may say to you whilst trying to help (that are not so helpful)

“It will get better/easier with time” – living without them is never easy

“I understand how you feel” – you are not me

“You’ll get over it” – I will try and get through it!!

These are things that people might say to you with the best intentions to try and make you feel better. Also, people might avoid you as they don’t know what to say, or think you need time alone. They may even tell you: “It’s time to move on, you should be over this by now.” Remember, every person grieves in there own time, in their own way and there is no time limit.

Things people need to know when you are bereaved

How can I help myself with bereavement, grief or loss?

It’s very important that you take care of yourself, so you could consider things such as:

  • Talk to people about the person who has died, share your memories and your feelings, remember that you are not reminding someone of the loss, they won’t have forgotten.
  • Look after yourself. Try to eat and drink properly and do your best to get enough rest, even if you can’t sleep.
  • Allow yourself time and permission to start or go through your grieving process without rules.
  • Seek help and support from either friends, family and counselling, whenever needed.
  • Tell people what you want and need.
  • Forgive yourself for laughing sometimes – it really is OK. Always be kind to yourself!

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