Death is a certainty which waits for us all, and dealing with a death can be very hard. There is a hollow emptiness that can creep up on us as we realise what has been lost. One of the things that seem to surprise people the most is that everyone not only grieves in their own way but does so on their own timescale. Often the bereaved will only start to feel the loss when the funeral is over. Indeed this often corresponds with the time that people stop phoning or coming round and can lead to very judgmental thoughts such as “they should be over it by now!”

This is simply not true; people need to come to terms Gravewith their loss put it in a perspective that means something to them. Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and we see the same processes when people grief for a broken relationship, or in redundancy. Many factors influence the intensity of the grief so one might expect to feel more grief at the loss of a parent than an uncle you had not seen for many years. The grieving process takes time and that is different for different people. For some it may be months for others years, it is important to allow yourself or others time for the process to work.

Many emotions come to the fore during grief. Anger, guilt, sadness, shock or disbelief: all of these are quite normal as you try to make sense of your loss. You may be angry at the deceased, perhaps they hid their condition from you, and perhaps you think the doctor missed something. You may feel guilty as something said or left unsaid. In the end you cannot change what has happened only begin to step back and try to see the whole person, their whole life not just the end.

There is support for those who are grieving, of course there are family and friends, and there are also specialist organisations like CRUISE or counsellors with whom you can talk things through. There is no judgement or project plan in therapy, the process is to help you to understand what you need to be able to move forward again. If you are a member of a faith group there will be support from that faith and activities like praying can help.

Sometimes in our grief we forget to look after ourselves and our own health suffers so try to spend some time doing things for you. Be gentle with yourself while you recover.

Remember that grief is a process and you can and will get through it. If you feel that you are stuck or that you need help reach out and ask for help, it is always there.