Grief is a natural response to loss. Each one of us, however, may experience it quite differently. It is a painful process with thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that may be difficult for us to understand. Family and friends may experience a range of emotions and behaviours including denial, fear, anger, guilt, lack of sleep and low self-esteem.
Bereavement describes the period after the death of a loved one. It’s a time in which we learn to live without them, when we learn to adjust to a new situation. There is no time limit to this process but the following may influence the length of our bereavement:
- Was the death sudden or unexpected?
- Was death preceded by a long illness?
- What was your relationship with the deceased?
- What has been your previous experience with grief? How did you cope?
- What support systems are available? (family, friends, community, church, counselling)