Taking Care of Yourself as you Grieve – Resource help sheet
What is grief and why do we need to grieve?
Grief is what follows the death of someone you love. Grief is a process, not a state. The process takes time to work properly and cannot be rushed. Grieving is normal and healthy. Grief is a natural function by which you will make a healthy adjustment to the significant loss in your life. However, society can make it difficult for you to grieve openly and naturally. This is where a bereavement support person can be invaluable. Your way of grieving will be a uniquely personal experience. Grief is NOT about forgetting, or the painful letting go of memories. Rather grieving is a process where good memories are affirmed and bad memories are healed. The grief process has common patterns:
- Feelings of shock
- Deep emotions and sadness, sometimes relief
- Tears and laughter
- Depression and loneliness
- Physical symptoms of distress
- Feelings of guilt
- Hostility and resentment
- Difficulty in continuing usual daily activities
- Adjusting to a new way of living.
Your grief can often affect the way you see yourself and the way you look at the world. A bereavement support person will accompany you as you navigate the changes and move forward into your new future. It is very important to recognise and work through your feelings. Repressing grief, and failure to allow this natural healing process to take its course can take a toll in many ways.
A support person who cares is vital.
It is of great value to share your feelings with at least one trusted person. You may have supportive friends and family to talk with, but many people find it is easier to speak freely with someone independent, who they don’t know personally. Our bereavement support team is there for this purpose. A bereavement support person will:
- Spend time with you
- Listen to you and allow you to express opinions without passing judgement
- Support you as you make adjustments and move forward into your future
- Respect and value you through your time of pain and respect your vulnerability
- Provide the names of professionals who can help if it is felt that is what is needed.
It is important for you to remember that:
- Your grief is for you
- Your grief is unique
- Your grief is healthy
- You can’t do all your grieving alone.
Our Bereavement Support Service offers:
- Moral support and a friendly listening ear
- Referrals to Agencies and Counsellors when required
- Use of our library of practical and informative books
- Contact with groups and other Organisations
- Practical help with:
- Filling in forms
- Income support approaches
- Closing Bank accounts
- Organising home help